Peace deal still possible: Palestinian negotiator

The chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel says the world needs to get tough with Israel over its continued settlement building to ensure the remaining five months of talks won`t be wasted.

Jerusalem: The chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel says the world needs to get tough with Israel over its continued settlement building to ensure the remaining five months of talks won`t be wasted.

Saeb Erekat spoke yesterday in Jerusalem to diplomats from more than three dozen countries.

US-mediated talks on the terms of a Palestinian state began in late July and are to last until April. Since the start of talks, Israel has announced plans for thousands of settlement apartments on lands sought for that state.

Erekat says a deal can still be reached but that the talks "need to be protected against a government that is acting for the settlers, by the settlers, from the settlers."

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