Peres Calls Abbas to Discuss Peace Process in Wake of Failed UN Settlement Resolution

Palestinian president reiterates that in order to return to negotiating table, Israel must halt all settlement building, including in East Jerusalem.

President Shimon Peres called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday to discuss the failed United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement building.

The United States thwarted a UN Security council resolution on Friday that condemned settlement building. The resolution was knocked down despite the fact that the 14 other council members supported it, due to the fact that the U.S. is a permanent Security Council member.

The two leaders spoke about the stagnated peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Abbas reportedly said during the conversation that in order to renew peace negotiations, Israel must halt all settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Palestinian leadership have reiterated this position before, since peace talks ground to a halt in September after a freeze on settlement building expired.

Palestinians have expressed their discontent over the U.S. veto, and have even planned a "Day of Rage" to protest the U.S. move.

Abbas said on Saturday that he did not expect to cut ties with the U.S. over the vote, but insisted that the Palestinian leadership made a "wise decision" by proceeding with the resolution.

Palestinians say continued settlement building flouts the internationally-backed peace plan that will permit them to create a viable, contiguous state on the land after a treaty with Israel to end its control of the West Bank and decades of conflict.

Israel says this is an excuse for avoiding peace talks and a precondition never demanded before during 17 years of negotiation, which has so far produced no agreement.