Israel has ruled out a peace deal with the Palestinians unless Arab states pay billions of pounds in compensation for Jewish refugees who fled their territories after the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, it was claimed.
Further complicating efforts to end the Middle East conflict, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is to insist that the fate of Jewish and Palestinian refugees be linked together as a "core issue" in any future peace negotiations.
The Palestinian leadership was quick to denounce the new demand as a "time-wasting" ruse, saying that it was an attempt to deflect attention away from Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.
"If ever there was evidence of the Israeli government's insincerity about making peace, this is it," one senior official said. "They are creating new obstacles even when no negotiations are taking place."
The fate of the Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced to flee their homes in Israel during the wars that accompanied its creation in 1948 has always been a central element of peace talks between the two sides.
Source and full story: Daily Telegraph, 14 Sept 2012