News / Middle East

    Palestinian Negotiating Team Resigns

    FILE - Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ramallah, Aug. 11, 2013.
    FILE - Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ramallah, Aug. 11, 2013.
    VOA News
    Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians appear to have hit another stumbling block, this time with the resignation of the Palestinian negotiating team.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday told Egyptian television his negotiators resigned due to a lack of progress. He told CBC television he would try to convince them to reconsider or put a new team in place. Abbas said in either case, any further talks would have to be delayed.

    In an interview Wednesday with Reuters, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat refused to elaborate on his reported resignation but said talks with Israel were going nowhere.

    "In reality, the negotiations stopped last week, to be honest, in light of the settlement announcements last week," he said. "We face on a daily basis Israeli behavior and actions that are related to settlement and the killing in cold blood, settler terrorism under the protection of the Israeli soldiers, home demolition, to propose laws in the Israeli Knesset that aim to divide the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque etc. All the Israeli behaviors whether on the negotiation table or on the ground if they show anything they show one thing and that is, making Kerry fail and they [Israelis] alone should be held responsible.''

    Israel's Housing Ministry announced plans Tuesday for about 20,000 new homes in contested parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later reversed the decision, saying it would hurt Israel's efforts to ensure world powers maintain stiff sanctions on Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

    Still, on Wednesday, Israel's minister for strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz, tried to make clear the prime minister's order was in no way a change in policy.

    "Prime Minster Netanyahu made it very clear, that we are going to release some prisoners but there is no freeze in the settlements. It's not just theoretically, we will build in the settlements during the negotiations. I don't suggest that this is kind of agreement, but let me be very accurate, this was clearly understood by all three sides, the Israelis the Palestinians the Americans,'' said Steinitz.

    Israel's continued settlement building has been a major point of contention during the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

    Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians rose again Wednesday following the fatal stabbing of an Israeli soldier in northern Israel.

    Israeli officials say they have arrested a 16-year-old Palestinian in connection with the incident, which took place on a bus in the town of Afula.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora