Breaking the Mideast Peace Impasse – Possible?

A Mideast peace advocacy group says Jewish settlers have begun building at least 600 homes in the West Bank since an Israeli construction moratorium expired last month.

Peace Now said Thursday the rate of construction is four times faster than before the 10-month settlement freeze was enacted in November 2009.   The group, which says it advocates for a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestinian peace process, has promised to release a full report soon.

Direct peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials are on hold because of disputes over settlement construction in territory Palestinians want for a future state, including land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, and the PLO representative to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, recently spoke to VOA about a number of issues, including security, loyalty oaths, right of return of refugees, borders, international involvement in the peace process, and West Bank settlements.

Here is a sampling of those interviews, on the topic of Israeli construction of communities on land that the Palestinians consider to be theirs. For the complete interviews, please listen to the audio files. – voanews