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Abbas said under U.S. pressure in talks

Sept. 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM   |   Comments

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is being pressured to continue talks with Israel even if Israel resumes construction in West Bank settlements, sources say.

The Obama administration has renewed its pressure on Abbas to remain in direct peace negotiations with Israel even if construction begins again after the end of the current moratorium, a senior Palestine source told the Haaretz newspaper.

Abbas would not abide a renewal of construction and would be forced to withdraw from the talks, the source warned.

Palestinian acceptance of renewed construction as talks are resumed is politically impossible, the source said.

Abbas would not give up Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem, especially at the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, sources in Ramallah said, but large Jewish neighborhoods could be retained by Israel.

If that much was achieved, Abbas would be able to agree the refugee issue would be resolved primarily within the borders of the new Palestinian state, the sources said.

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