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Hardline Jews vow to scupper peace talks

As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare for key peace talks in Egypt, hardline Jewish settlers are vowing to sabotage a political process that they fear, if successful, could endanger the survival of the Jewish State.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sit down for a second round of talks on Tuesday in a US-sponsored effort to end nearly two decades of deadlock, but opponents of the negotiations say they are quietly confident of their failure.

“I expect the whole thing to fail,” said Elyakim Haetzni, an octogenarian from Kiryat Arba who was among the founders of the Jewish settlement movement. “A Palestinian state will mark the countdown of our destruction. If the talks were about your demise, you'd prefer no talks.”

It's this gloomy thought that occupies the thoughts not only of Mr Haetzni, but also the thousands of settlers living in the occupied West Bank who could be forced to leave their homes if an independent Palestinian state ever comes into existence.

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