RAMALLAH, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The highest legislative authority of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will convene next month to decide on the future of U.S.-brokered indirect negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, a Palestinian official said.
The Palestinian Central Council is scheduled to meet on Aug. 5 "to decide on U.S. calls to hold direct peace talks with the Israeli government and to evaluate the indirect negotiations," said Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee.
Abu Yousef told Xinhua that there is a consensus agreement among the Palestinians that direct negotiations can not resume before Israel freezes settlement activities completely, including constructions in East Jerusalem, the city that the Palestinians want as a future capital.
Due to ongoing Israeli raids in the West Bank and Israeli measures in East Jerusalem, "the general Palestinian situation doesn't afford to start direct negotiations," he said.
The proximity talks started in May in a bid to bridge the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians to enable them to resume the direct negotiations that have stopped since 2008.
Meanwhile, the Ramallah-based Al-Ayyam newspaper reported that the Arab states have "crystallized a joint position" that the negotiations can not resume before Israel commits itself clearly to settling the conflict with the Palestinians on the two-state solution.