Talks between Israel and the Palestinians over the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank stalled last year, following two suicide bombings that killed dozens of Israelis. Israel has stated that it will not hand over much new territory to the Palestinians until Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, does more to combat terrorism. The Palestinians claim that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not serious about peace.
Frustrated with the pace of the peace process, Arafat announced last fall that the Palestinians will declare statehood in 1999, whether or not Israel agrees. The announcement angered Israeli leaders, who stressed that the two
sides must agree on the nature of the final status of the peace agreement.
Frustrated with the lack of progress, the United States has urged Israel to turn over more territory to the Palestinians. Israel has refused to yield to U.S. pressure, however.
- Why is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unwilling to implement the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank? Answer
- What incidents derailed the peace talks? Answer