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2 Sep, 2010 23:16

Settlement policy closes the door to peace – Palestine’s chief negotiator

Middle East talks in Washington have produced a pledge from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to continue regular negotiations, with the goal of a new peace deal by the end of the year.

The US says that's the aim of all parties, which met for their first face-to-face talks in almost two years, but Jewish settlements and Hamas attacks remain major stumbling blocks.

Dr. Saeb Erakat, Palestine's chief negotiator, told RT about two main ways for the negotiations right now.

“I think it’s obvious now that we really hope that when the Israeli government has the choice between settlements and peace, that they will choose peace,” Erakat said. “The land that’s supposed to be the Palestinian state is being eaten up, annexed, dictated upon by settlements, walls, confiscations, evictions from homes.”

“So if the Israeli government continues with the settlement activities, it means they have locked the door in our faces,” he stated. “[If they stop settlement activities], I think we can give the negotiations the chance they deserve.”