CAIRO (AFP) – The Arab-Israeli peace process is a hair’s breadth from failure following Israel’s decision to build more settlements in annexed east Jerusalem, the Arab League’s said on Tuesday.
“We are a hair’s breadth or less from announcing the failure of the peace process, given its evolution,” league secretary general Amr Mussa was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency on Tuesday.
“The peace process is heading for failure because of Israel’s lack of desire for peace,” he said after Israel unveiled plans for a new settlement in annexed east Jerusalem and for hundreds of new Jewish homes in the occupied West Bank.
The move triggered a chorus of world criticism and warnings it would hamper efforts to restart faltering peace talks.
Settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land sends “a strong message” that “Israel doesn’t want peace because it is building settlements to try and change the demographic and geographic situation on the ground,” Mussa said.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas “has shown the Palestinian desire to achieve peace, but we find that the Israeli response is negative,” he added.
“We may take a decision on the peace process in the coming weeks because in its current state it is a dead letter.”
The Palestinians have said the settlement activity will shatter efforts to relaunch the peace process that has been largely stagnant since it was revived in late November.