US role in Mideast peace lacks credibility: Palestinian official

Ramallah, May 19 (IANS) The role of the US in reviving the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations lacks credibility, a Palestinian official said Sunday.

The Barack Obama administration “recruits itself to spare Israel any kind of accountability and give the priority to Israel at the expense of peace chances and the implementation of international law”, Xinhua quoted Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, as saying.

Ashrawi was speaking on the European Union’s decision to delay labelling products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank upon a request from Washington.

The report said the aim of the labels was to make easier for people to boycott goods produced in settlements built on occupied lands, as most of the international community recognises the settlements as illegal.

America’s role “encourages Israel to go ahead in its settlement program and steal the land without any deterrent”, the Palestinian official said.

Peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis stopped in 2010 over a dispute on the construction of settlements on lands the Palestinians want for a future state.

This year, the Obama administration assigned Secretary of State John Kerry to work on reviving the negotiations.

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