World Bulletin/News Desk
The Palestinian leadership have made a "big mistake" by agreeing to hold peace talks with Israel without asking Palestinians' opinion first, an official from an internationally recognized Palestinian group has said.
Wasel Youssef of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) commented on the Israeli government's plans for new settlements in West Bank and Jerusalem, which it announced on Sunday.
"The decision [to build more settlements] shows that the Palestinian leadership has made a big mistake by bowing to US pressure and starting the negotiations with Israel straight away, without first getting the opinion of the public and Palestinian groups," Youssef told the Anadolu Agency on Monday.
In a decision feared to derail nascent efforts to revive the Middle East peace talks, the Israeli government approved on Sunday the construction of nearly 1.200 new settler homes in occupied Palestinian territory.
It had previously rejected Palestinian demands to stop building new settlements as a precondition for the talks.
Youssef said US efforts to kick-start the negotiations were aimed at alleviating Israel's recent "isolation" on the international arena, as Palestine acquired observer status in the United Nations and peace talks froze for three years.
A recent US initiative to re-launch the stalled talks paved the way for the actual talks to start on 14th of August following long-winded shuttle diplomacy last month as US Secretary of State John Kerry held a series of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian representatives.Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2013, 11:30