- The Washington Times - Monday, April 7, 2014

Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators have turned back to the United States for mediation assistance with their talks, prepping for a Monday meeting with an American envoy who’s supposed to jumpstart discussions.

The planned meeting with U.S. negotiator Martin Indyk came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on Sunday that talks should go forth, “but not at any price,” The New York Times reported.

The breakdown occurred last week, as both sides accused the other of violating pre-agreed conditions and commitments that were set last summer, on the cusp of negotiations.

The Palestinians, most recently, sought out the United Nations for membership in certain conventions — angering Israelis, who said the move was a clear slap in the face and a signal that talks had come to a standstill. The Palestinians, for their part, said they turned to the United Nations only because the Israelis backtracked on a deal to release some of their prisoners.


Mr. Netanyahu came forward on Sunday and said that while Israel would take its own “unilateral steps” to deal with the Palestinians’ recent move, the talks should continue, The Times reported.

“We are ready to continue the talks but not at any price,” he said, the media outlet reported. “The Palestinians substantially violated in a significant way the understandings that were reached with American involvement. The Palestinian threats to appeal to the U.N. will not affect us — the Palestinians have much to lose from this unilateral move.”

It’s not clear what steps Mr. Netanyahu will push. But local media outlets suggested that he might press Israel to block a mobile-phone company from setting up shop in the Gaza Strip and providing service to those in the West Bank, The Times said.