Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

News Brief


The Palestinian Authority prime minister voiced doubt on whether a peace deal with Israel was possible by 2009.

“I have a strong feeling that is tantamount to certainty that a solution won’t be achieved this year,” Salam Fayyad told reporters Wednesday.

President Bush launched peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas last year and wants an agreement in place before he steps down in January.

But the Palestinian Authority, and to a lesser degree Israel, have voiced doubt recently over whether this deadline can be met.

Israel says the Abbas administration is not doing enough to fight terror. The administration effectively runs only the West Bank, having lost the Gaza Strip to rival Hamas Islamists last year.

The Palestinian Authority has been angered by continued Israeli construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank — areas where Palestinians want to found a state.

“Even if achieving a deal this year was possible,” Fayyad said, “we cannot accept the continuation of settlement activity.”

Recommended from JTA