The fresh killings and riots in the West Bank city of Hebron yesterday underlined how little the meeting between President Bill Clinton and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington had done to produce a breakthrough in the Middle East crisis. So long as Mr Netanyahu declares that nothing will halt the Israeli plan to build homes in East Jerusalem and the violence continues on the ground, the chance of resuscitating the peace process with the Palestinians will continue to look very low indeed. The only glimmer of light could come if Israel can be persuaded to delay the building programme at least until negotiations reconvene. That would give Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat an excuse to return to the table while not entailing any backtracking on the scheme, which would bring Mr Netanyahu unpopularity with his own right wing. Trying to shift the emphasis of the Washington meeting on to Mr Arafat and Palestinian terrorist attacks as Mr Netanyahu did cannot detract from the role of Israeli intransigence in the crisis. Whatever influence the Palestinian leader has over terrorist groups should certainly be used to condemn violence in the strongest terms. But whether anybody can change the minds of the bombers is doubtful, particularly in the present context. Mr Netanyahu's protestations that Israel has been true to the agreement with the Palestinians do not ring true. However closely Israel has abided by the guidelines, it has not been true to the spirit of the accord. To Arabs, the building scheme can betray their hopes, and it is unlikely that talks will be restored until Israel shows a more conciliatory mood. Agreeing to a delay might at least break the crippling impasse and lessen the uncontrolled violence seen yesterday.