U.S. efforts over talks hit deadlock as Israeli threats to strike Gaza heat up

10:03, April 07, 2010      

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by Saud Abu Ramadan, Fares Akram

A senior Palestinian official said Tuesday the U.S. efforts to resume the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks had hit a deadlock as Israeli leaders heated up their threats to carry out a strong strike on Gaza Strip's militants in response to firing of homemade rockets at southern Israel.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, blamed the right- wing led Israeli government for thwarting these efforts.

He told "Voice of Palestine Radio" in an interview that "Israel continued imposing facts on the ground," referring to recent decisions to expand settlements in disputed East Jerusalem and the continuation of Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

The U.S. offer to hold proximity in-direct talks between the two sides, which the Arab League and the PNA had approved last month, "has hit a deadlock," said Erekat.

U.S. envoy George Mitchell had held a series of meetings with both sides' leaders trying to bridge the gaps between them.

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