Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas halted peace talks with Israel today “until [Israeli] aggression is stopped,” Reuters reports. Abbas ordered the suspension of the US-brokered talks as Israel’s Gaza offensive continued and the Palestinian death toll topped 100. But Israeli PM Ehud Olmert showed no sign of relenting, calling Israel's actions self-defense.
“Israel is interested in negotiations but not at the price of giving up our right to protect Israeli citizens,” Olmert said, even as anti-Israel protests began in the West Bank. The US also called for an end to the violence; Condoleezza Rice will meet with Abbas and Olmert later this week, hoping to broker a deal before President Bush leaves office.