Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled on Wednesday, that renewed settlement construction by Israel would not end the current round of peace talks. Abbas’ comments came during a dinner with Jewish leaders in New York.Abbas was quoted as saying, ‘I can’t say I will leave the negotiations, but it will be very difficult to continue if Netanyahu announces that he will start building.’

This statement is seen as a serious change in his attitude declared repeatedly that Palestinians will leave the talks if settlement construction continues.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel will not renew the claimed settlement freeze which was announced ten months ago, and is due to end in a few days.

The Israeli left wing movement and settlement watchdog, Peace Now, reported in August that there have been 492 violations of the claimed settlement freeze and that there are over than 2,000 settlement units ready to be built in October.

Peace Now also noted that the settlement freeze did not include East Jerusalem.