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Israel-Palestine Analysis: Washington's "New Strategy" and the Palestinian Response

Challenging the new US line on settlements, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas warned that there would be no talks with Israel unless there was a halt to settlement building.

Having obtained the support of the Arab League and Egypt, Abbas does not want to take a step back on the settlements. Indeed, he may be going on the offensive. The London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday that Abbas had "given a green light" to his aides to ask the UN to recognize a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state; however, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit asked the Palestinian leadership to give Washington another chance.

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