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15 Sep, 2010 17:20

Israeli-Palestinian talks continue amid growing doubts over their success

Israeli and Palestinian leaders are holding peace negotiations in Jerusalem, after Tuesday's meeting in Egypt showed no signs of a breakthrough.

The negotiations were marred by violence as Hamas officials say an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and injured four in Gaza.

Earlier, Israel claimed it came under attack from mortars and rockets.

The negotiations are being mediated by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The main issue on the table is whether Israel will extend its existing suspension on building settlements in the West Bank.

Read more on the issue

The Palestinians say they'll walk out of the discussions if building resumes.

Israeli peace activist Haggai Matar says it’s unlikely we’ll see any positive change unless Israel amends its stance.

“Israel is very consistent in its stand of not making the necessary agreements,” said Matar. “It would have to give up the occupation and go back to the 1967 borders. Without that, we won’t have peace. As long as Israel is not willing to recognize that, it will take forever.”

The blame for the lack of a breakthrough, the peace activist stated, lies solely on Israel.

“The Palestinians have gone a very long way in giving up historical demands,” said Matar. “They are now willing to go forward and reach a two-state solution based on the 1967 border line, based on the international decisions – UN resolutions, the Arab initiatives. There are so many positive steps on the Palestinian side.”

And Middle East analyst Jeffrey Blankfort believes that this is all "a charade that has been going on for a number of years repeatedly – sometimes the same cast of characters, sometimes different.”

Akhmed Yousef, a political adviser for Hamas, also doesn’t expect the talks to yield any results.

“We Palestinians are following these talks for decades and we have figured that they are just another form of deception. We are not getting anything from these negotiations. They serve the agenda of the Americans, the Israelis and certain regional powers,” Yousef told RT.