Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his demand on Wednesday for Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank before the two conflicting sides can resume peace talks.

Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank has been a major obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas recently said he would not run in Palestinian presidential elections in January, citing a lack of progress in peace talks and criticizing Washington for failing to press Israel on halting Israeli settlement construction.

"We want a full stop to [building] settlements, including for natural growth, in Jerusalem as well," Abbas said in an address on the fifth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat.

The Palestinian leader criticized Israel for hampering the internationally backed "two-state solution" for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.