Abbas: Peace is up to Israel

Sept. 25, 2010 at 9:05 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A peaceful settlement between Israel and the Palestinians is up to the Israeli government, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas called on Israel to halt settlement construction and remove the security fence. He said Israel has shown a "mentality of expansion and domination."

But he said the authority has engaged in the peace talks because of a "genuine desire" to end hostility in the region, a U.N. release said.

"Our demands for the cessation of settlement activities, the lifting of the siege and an end to all other Israeli policies and practices do not constitute arbitrary pre-conditions in the peace process, but are consistent with the implementation of obligations and previous commitments, compliance with which has been repeatedly reaffirmed in all resolutions adopted since the very start of the political process," Abbas said.

The Israeli moratorium on construction ends this weekend. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to convince Abbas, in meetings at the United Nations in New York, to agree to an Israeli plan allowing building in established settlements that Israeli leaders hope would become part of their territory, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Abbas told reporters Friday he heard "nothing new" from Clinton.

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