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Palestinians Say No Talks While Settlements Built

WEST BANK - There will be no direct negotiations with Israel while it builds settlements on occupied land where the Palestinians seek to establish a state, a spokesman for the Palestinian president said on Saturday.

Nabil Abu Rdainah was speaking after leaving a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee in Ramallah.

A Palestinian labourer works at a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yakir south of Nablus September 26, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias) U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Friday concluded talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders without agreement on how to keep alive peace negotiations that are on hold due to the dispute over Jewish settlement building. The talks began a month ago.

"There will be no negotiations in the shadow of continued settlement," Abu Rdainah said.

Palestinians say the growth of the settlements, on land Israel has occupied since 1967, will render impossible the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- the stated goal of the peace talks.

Some 500,000 Jews live on territory where the Palestinians aim to establish their state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by David Holmes)

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