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Arab League Chief Describes Peace Talks as 'Negative'


Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa talks to reporters at the convention center in Sirte, Libya, 08 Oct 2010

Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa talks to reporters at the convention center in Sirte, Libya, 08 Oct 2010

Arab League chief Amr Moussa says the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is stalled and will need new direction.

Moussa commented ahead of a meeting Friday between Arab League foreign ministers and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters news agency quotes Moussa as saying Arab leaders will begin drafting alternatives because the current peace talks are "not bearing fruit."

The Palestinians have threatened to walk away from the talks if Israel resumes Jewish settlement construction on lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Mr. Abbas is expected to make a decision after the Arab League meeting.

On Thursday, Palestinian adviser Nabil Shaath said his side has accepted a U.S. proposal calling for Israel to extend a West Bank settlement slowdown for 60 days, on the condition that the two sides spend the time discussing final borders issues.

He said if an agreement is not reached within the two-month period, the settlement freeze would have to be extended further.

Israeli soldiers killed two senior Hamas militants Friday during an operation in the West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli and Palestinian officials say the militants were responsible for the killing of four Jewish settlers on the eve of new peace talks five weeks ago.

Hamas described the raid as an execution.

Separately, tensions were high in a predominately Palestinian neighborhood in east Jerusalem Friday after two Palestinian boys were hit by a car driven by a pro-settlement activist. The boy had been throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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