RAMALLAH, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian official on Thursday denied remarks by a chief Israeli negotiator that peace talks between the two sides were making progress.
Statements made by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni "aim at hiding Israeli obstacles to the negotiations and the increased settlement building that undermines the talks," the Palestinian official told Xinhua.
The negotiations, which the United States helped launch in July, "entered into a dark tunnel because Israel tries to avoid discussing the borders issue and focuses on security," the official added.
The official said that the two sides are aware of the difficulty of the negotiations, which resumed after nearly a three- year hiatus, but are continuing to hold talks until the end of a nine-month period.
In an interview on Israel Radio on Wednesday, Livni said that the talks were seeing considerable progress despite skepticism by her Palestinian counterparts.
Also on Wednesday, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat met with the Israeli negotiating team in Jerusalem. It was the first such meeting since the Palestinian negotiators said they were resigning early in November.
Though Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the central committee of his Fatah party rejected the resignation of the two- member Palestinian team, the second negotiator Mohammed Ishteya maintained his decision and did not participate in Wednesday's Jerusalem meeting.
During the meeting, Erekat firmly slashed Israeli army raids in Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank and the escalation of settlement building, which makes the future Palestinian state non-contiguous geographically, according to the official.
Israeli PM reiterates opposition to partial deal with Iran
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced his opposition to a partial deal with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, days before the world powers resume talks with the Islamic republic.
"I think the problem with a partial deal is that you reduce the sanctions," said Netanyahu in a television interview on CNN's State of the Union program aired Sunday. Full story