Palestinians: Clinton Hinders Peace Talks

The Palestinians are accusing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of undermining progress toward Mideast peace talks.

Clinton met with both Palestinian leaders and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

At a joint news conference with the Netanyahu last night, she praised the Israeli leader's offer to curb some settlement construction in the West Bank.

The Palestinians insist construction must stop there and in east Jerusalem - lands they want for a future state - before they'll return to the bargaining table.

Netanyahu has insisted Israel would not limit building in east Jerusalem.

After yesterday's meetings, Clinton called for an unconditional resumption of peace talks.

A Palestinian government spokesman says that amounts to condoning the expansion of settlements.

The Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says: "If America cannot get Israel to implement a settlement freeze, what chance do Palestinians have of reaching agreement with Israel on permanent status issues?"