"A round of talks started in late 2010 by President Barack Obama quickly sputtered over the settlement issue. " That is entirely untrue. The talks sputtered for the same reason they are sputtering now: the Palestinians did the brief meetings for show and not for substance. In 2010, Israel froze settlement construction for 10 months and for 9.5 months the Palestinians refused to come to the table. When there were two weeks left in the Israeli moratorium, the Palestinians finally showed up but said that talks could only begin if Israel froze settlement construction, completely ignoring the fact they had 9.5 months to begin talks beforehand. It was just a show, nothing more. They want to be able to say, "We negotiated," when in reality they are stalling for time and trying everything in their power to avoid serious talks. That's why the other day Erakat who is no less than their chief negotiator and has been a negotiator for longer than anybody else on either side suddenly announced that he didn't have the authority or mandate to hear Israel's views on security matters. How could the chief negotiator not have authority over something so basic to an agreement, especially after so many years of this issue being a core one in these discussions? Well, that's what happens when you are there for show, not for peace-making.
First refugees travelling on Hungarian bus arrive at Austrian border (Reuters)
from the article: Palestinians: Peace negotiations with Israel have ended