If the Palestinian Authority and Israel cannot agree on some kind of peace deal in the next few months, the entire process could be set back nearly 20 years. Should the U.S.-backed negotiations fail, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and lobby the United Nations to recognize Palestinian statehood, bypassing negotiations entirely. "I cannot accept to remain the president of an authority that doesn't exist," Abbas said in a television interview Friday. The Palestinian Authority came into being after a 1993 interim peace deal with Israel, giving the Palestinians some degree of autonomy in the West Bank. The two sides are at loggerheads over the continuing construction of Israeli settlements. The Palestinian Authority is demanding another three-month freeze on construction.
MIDDLE EAST AP Photo