Ali Waked
October 28, 2009 - 12:00am,7340,L-3796735,00.html

As Israel and the Palestinians exchange blame for the failure to get peace talks off the ground, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly under pressure from the Arab camp to renew negotiations.

Palestinian sources told Ynet that Arab officials have passed on messages to Abbas prodding him to agree to renewed peace talks without conditioning them on a total freeze of building in West Bank settlements.

These same sources said to Abbas that, in the absence of such negotiations, his position will weaken even more since Israel will be able to claim that he is responsible for delaying the start of the peace process.

"A number of senior officials in the important Arab states made it clear to us that negotiations must be renewed and that, should the Israeli side not cooperate, we will be able to demand more active American intervention and to weaken Israel," said a source.

"Our current position plays into the hands of Netanyahu and weakens Obama and his capability of putting real pressure on Israel."

The Palestinian sources reported that voices in Abbas' camp are increasingly calling to return to the negotiating table in order to present Israel as the stumbling block to peace talks and as the party who is evading its commitments.


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