Abbas: Talks on hold


The Palestinian Authority suspended peace talks with Israel.

A spokesman for P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas said the suspension was the result of Israeli “aggression” in Gaza. Israel’s military operations in Gaza following the launching of rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon have left more than 100 Palestinians dead, including many civilians. One resident of Sderot and two Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian militants over the last few days of violence.

Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resumed peace negotiations following the U.S.-led peace conference last November in Annapolis, Md. But progress has stalled, and the paroxysm of violence this week in and around Gaza threatens the future of Israeli-Palestinians peacemaking efforts, analysts said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is due to visit the region this week to promote the Annapolis peace effort.

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