RAMALLAH, West Bank | A surprise decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to sign more than a dozen international conventions that could give Palestinians greater leverage against Israel left the United States struggling on Wednesday to put peace talks back on track.
A senior Palestinian official, voicing frustration deepened by Israel’s failure to carry out a pledged release of several dozen Palestinian prisoners, said the eight-month-old talks had become merely “negotiating about negotiating”.
The Palestinians on Wednesday handed over to a U.N. representative and other diplomats applications Abbas signed late on Tuesday to join 15 international conventions.
They include the Geneva Conventions, the key text of international law on the conduct of war and occupation.
Palestinian officials said Israel’s failure to let the prisoners go meant Abbas no longer had to stick to a commitment not to confront it at the U.N. and other international bodies.
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