CAIRO, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Arab foreign ministers held Israel responsible for the obstacles facing the Mideast peace process through continuous settlement expansion and killings of disarmed Palestinians, according to a joint statement released on Saturday.
Following their extraordinary meeting requested by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which was held at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo earlier in the day, the Arab foreign ministers requested the United States, the sponsor of the ongoing negotiations, pressure Israel to halt or its settlement activities on the occupied lands to make room for reaching peace.
They also warned against "the dangers of continuous Israeli policies, practices and aggressions against the Palestinians that could ruin peace negotiations."
The statement, released at a press conference after the meeting, condemned Israel for killing many Palestinian civilians, pulling down Palestinian homes, displacing residents, assaulting the Al- Aqsa Mosque and imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The ministers reaffirmed their demands of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital city based on the 1967 borders.
The U.S.-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resumed in July with a nine-month timetable that ends in April 2014.
The talks have been repeatedly hampered by Israel's settlement expansion.