Al Jazeera reports:
Israel’s move to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank has threatened to sabotage newly agreed indirect talks with the Palestinian Authority before they can even begin.
George Mitchell, the US envoy to the Middle East, announced on Monday that the two sides had agreed a day earlier to begin indirect negotiations that have been stalled since the December 2008 Gaza war.
He said he hoped the indirect talks would “lead to direct negotiations as soon as possible” and appealed to the two sides not do to anything that could jeopardise the talks.
But news that Israel’s defence ministry had approved the construction of 112 new apartments in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit drew a sharp response from the Palestinians.