Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Monday he will not take part in US-backed peace talks "for a single day" if Israel does not extend a freeze on settlement building at the month's end.
"The negotiations will continue as long as the settlement (construction) remains frozen, but I am not prepared to negotiate an agreement for a single day more," Abbas told AFP.
I say the Israelis should agree to that linkage--but with their own linkage.
Israel will retain their freeze as long as no attacks on Israel are launched from Gaza or the West Bank.
And to be fair, Israel can quantify that condition. If a rocket or shell impacts in Israel, Israel permits one construction site to go forward. If an Israeli structure is damaged, 5 permits are approved. if a structure is destroyed, 10 permits are approved. If an Israeli is wounded, 25 permits are approved. And if an Israeli is killed, 100 permits are approved.
I mean, if peace negotiations are to have preconditions, let's be fair, If the Palestinians are that peace-loving and Hamas and Fatah are really in charge, the settlement freeze will never end while negotiations go forward.
Who could oppose such a fair conditional plan of suspending settlement construction and attacks, with the goal of peace?
Look, I think eventually there will be some sort of Palestinian state or states, but the current crop of leaders feel they can kill Jews at will and still talk peace with no consequences.