It behooves Mr. Erekat to maintain a low profile and to cross the bridges once he gets to them. The Palestinian's view on the settlements is quite clear and the current American administration agrees with it. The Palestinians can not afford to look like the obstructionist of the peace talks. In reality, the proximity talks are between the Americans and the Israelis in the hope of finding a middle ground that can close the gap between the two adversaries. Mr. Abbas was clear when he expressed his desire for the Americans to negotiate on his behalf. Given the political structure of the current Israeli government and the division among the Palestinians no one truly believe that a solution can be achieved through direct or indirect negotiations. The Palestinians are hoping that the U.S. will recommend that the UN unilaterally declare an independent Palestinians state ala UN resolution181 in 1947 that divided Palestine without taking into consideration the opinion of the local inhabitants. The Palestinian leadership lack a vision of what is acceptable to most Palestinians and seem to have forgotten those who now live outside the occupied territories. A permanent solution must be just to everyone involved in this tragic conflict if it is to last and be honored by all parties. It will take generations to overcome the hatred and bloodshed spilled in the last 6 decades, I hope that the human spirit will triumph in the end.
UN: Gaza could be 'uninhabitable' by 2020 if trends continue (AP)
from the article: U.S.: Israel pledged not to build in Ramat Shlomo for two years