Atilla Somfalvi
August 26, 2010 - 12:00am,7340,L-3944514,00.html

Ahead of next week's direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a small team of advisors to lead the negotiations, under his supervision.

The PM opted for a small negotiating team in an effort to prevent leaks during the talks with the Palestinians, which are due to kick off in Washington September 2.

On Thursday, Netanyahu was expected to meet with the advisors, including Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, Ron Dermer, Military Secretary Maj.- Gen. Yohanan Locker and National Security Council Director Uzi Arad.

Netanyahu plans to negotiate directly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The PM's Office said establishing a small team will allow for "speedy, serious and thorough" negotiations. Israel considers the fact that the talks will be launched without preconditions to be of great importance."

Israel has yet to decide on whether to resume construction in the West Bank's settlements once the moratorium expires on September 26.

The Palestinians emphasized that they will not continue negotiations if construction is renewed.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017