A Palestinian protester runs from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes at a protest against the Jewish settlement of Qadomem, near the West Bank City of Nablus May 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's nine-month effort to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal formally collapsed this week, with no revival on the horizon because each side appears firmly entrenched in its positions.Kerry said Thursday it was time for Washington to "pause, take a hard look at these things, and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead". He was speaking two days after the expiration of a Tuesday deadline by which the sides had committed themselves to seek a peace deal.But the talks had already unraveled last week when Israel suspended them after Hamas, which is sworn to the Jewish state's destruction, and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization, dominated by the Fatah movement, reached a reconciliation deal.Israel says it will only return to the table if Abbas renounces the pact with Hamas.Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Israel's argument that the talks had collapsed because of the reconciliation deal was "completely disingenuous".The Hamas-PLO deal gave the sides five weeks to agree on a transitional government which would organize presidential and parliamentary elections.
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