Israelis Skeptical of 'Proximity Talks' with the P.A.

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The so-called proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were expected to begin on Wednesday.

But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he'll decide in a few days whether to join the negotiations. If they do proceed, U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell will shuttle between Jerusalem and Ramallah to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Mitchell met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for three hours on Wednesday in what is presumed to be the start of indirect talks between Israel and the PA. Mitchell is scheduled to meet with Abbas on Friday.

Skeptical of Any Change

But many Israelis are skeptical that the talks - whenever they begin - will make a difference.

"Talking is always good but I don't think we'll see any actions coming out of it," one Israeli told CBN News.

"Look if they're going to get anywhere, they're going to have to talk one on one. There's no use going through a third party. This is my feeling toward it," another Israeli said.

On the evening of the talks, Abbas called on Arabs to boycott Israeli goods produced in the Jewish communities in the West Bank, the biblical land of Judea and Samaria.

P.A. Actions 'Unacceptable' 

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann called the boycott - and also the way the Palestinian Authority glorifies terrorists - "unacceptable."

"The glorification of the terror by dedication of public places, streets of the name of terrorists, for us, it really unacceptable," Lieberman said.

The Palestinian Authority has named many public places after terrorists, including Dalal Mugrahbi, who killed 37 Israelis in the worst terror attack in Israel's history.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.