Peace Talks

Palestinians Balk at Bibi's Terms

Back to the drawing board: Palestinian leaders have rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s terms for the renewal of the West Bank settlement freeze, putting the future of the U.S.-backed peace talks in jeopardy once again. Netanyahu said he would extend the freeze if Palestine would “in an unequivocal manner” recognize Israel’s statehood, a condition the Palestinian Authority called “unacceptable.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will not continue any peace talks with Israel unless Israel extends its moratorium on building in the West Bank, which expired Sept. 26. The United Nations has called the settlements illegal, and President Obama has said they are not legitimate. Israel and Palestine agreed last month to try to have a framework for a comprehensive peace accord by the end of the year.