The main purpose of talks is to create a palestinian state, once they have a state they can say who builds what where and make any other laws they want. Instead because they are not getting it all their own way in advance they are refusing to even sit down and hold talks, longer they delay more settlements will be built. If they do talk unconditionally they might even be able to NEGOTIATE a full settlement freeze. In 2008 an idealistic Obama won the election and all he wanted to do was reach out to the Islamic world and he went out of his way to help palestinians and harm Israel to gain that popularity. His first phone call as president in 2008 was not to some long standing NATO ally or something like that it was to Abbas and Obama was bending over backwards to help him something unprecidented for a US president but Abbas kept making new excuses to avoid talks. When Bibi gave his 10 month freeze for 9 months Abbas made even more excuses as a precondition to talks. Eventually 9 months into it Obama talked Abbas into talking, no serious talks ever took place Bibi & Abbas never even met and when the building freeze ended Abbas just blamed lack of talks on the settlements despite the fact that for 9 of those 10 months when there was no settlement building Abbas refused to talk. Abbas wasted the first 2 years Obama was in office and in his second year Obama had to start being more pro Israel because thats when the election season really begins and during an election the president needs to be pro Israel. So Abbas blew the 2 years when he had an ally in the White House giving him almost unconditional support. Obama is going to try help Abbas again although support for Israel is greater in the US now than it was in 2008 so Obama can't be as unconditionally pro palestinian as he was last time but he is still on their side not Israel. The palestinians should remember that Obama is only here for 4 years and we don't even know how long he will be as pro palestinian as he is now so instead of playing high and mighty if Abbas cares about his people he will sit down hold unconditional talks, when he does that Obama will be in a position to be his friend. Unfortunately for Abbas power has gone to his head since the UN General Assembly victory and so now he thinks he is the one with the big stick able to dictate terms and until he is willing to get down of his high horse and unconditionally NEGOTIATE ( both sides make concessions not just demanding ) then no progrss will be made, Israel will build its settlements, build the security fence on the route that it chooses unconditionally and Abbas will shout and scream and achieve nothing. If he negotiates unconditionally he may even get a state time for Abbas to remember its Israel that holds all the cards and so he is in no position to dictate.
Manhunt in Memphis, Tennessee continues after officer, 33, fatally shot (AP)