Egypt hosts second round of Israel-Palestinian talks

By Nangayi Guyson – Cairo- Egypt is to  hold a second round of peace talks of  Israeli and Palestinian leaders  which take place at  the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Palestinian Authority has said it will walk out of the negotiations if building on occupied territory resumes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that some of the thousands of new homes planned for the West Bank might not be built, but hinted that the moratorium on all construction might not be renewed.

“We will not freeze the lives of the residents,” he said.

However, the chief Palestinian negotiator said there could be no “half solutions”.

“If it chooses any kind of settlement building, this means that it has destroyed the whole peace process and it would be fully responsible for that,” Saeb Erekat told the Associated Press.

Another problem facing negotiators is that only one part of the Palestinian territories is represented because the Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, opposes the talks.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,On Monday, said it was time for both sides to get “down to business”.

She also reiterated that Israel should extend its partial moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank, which expires on 26 September.

Mrs Clinton will hold separate talks with Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday before hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders.

Another trilateral meeting will take place in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

She insisted there was hope of a full Israeli-Palestinian peace accord over the course of the negotiations, which resumed in Washington on 2 September after a 20-month break.

But the US, through Mrs Clinton and President Barack Obama, is hoping that both the Israelis and the Palestinians hold back from anything that could interfere with the negotiations – including ending the moratorium on settlement construction.

But it seems talks may collapse so soon according to  BBC’s Jon Leyne, in Sharm el-Sheikh despite  amount of effort and political capital invested by the US government.