Public has low summit expectations of the three-way summit

2009-09-22 09:29 BJT

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Israelis, Palestinians and Jewish settlers have voiced low expectations of the three-way summit. Officials and analysts, say the meeting does not signal a full re-launch of peace talks, while residents in the region voice doubt on whether any progress will be made.

Differences over Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank is the main reason for limited expectations.

Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, said, "We will follow the lead of President Obama and the American administration and hopefully, hopefully the Palestinians will do the same, and will stop their very, very bizarre preconditions, their very tough and maximalistic approach."

Ghassan Khatib, Palestinian Authority Press Office Spokesman, said, "The Palestinian public and official levels were a little disappointed when the American administration arranged for a meeting that will include the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president, before succeeding in convincing Israel to fulfill its obligations by stopping the expansion of settlements,"

Some Palestinians believe there is a chance of getting something out of the negotiations.

The settlement issue runs deep in the hearts of residents in the West Bank.

Captured in a 1967 war, some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and in Arab East Jerusalem, alongside three million Palestinians.

The International Court calls the settlements illegal and Palestinians say the enclaves could deny them a viable state.