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Palestinian Authority raps Israel plans

27 December 2013 11:04

342152_Saeb-Erekat

Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator has slammed the Israeli regime’s illegal settlement activities, warning that any new plan on settlement construction will torpedo the US-brokered negotiations.

Saeb Ereket told Xinhua news agency on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority “strongly” condemns the Tel Aviv regime’s plans to build new settler units in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

On December 25, an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the regime would likely announce plans for construction of new settler units next week.

Israeli media also published reports regarding the announcement of “massive construction” plans by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week, with some saying that 1,000 to 2,000 new settlements may be built.

Erekat further said the Palestinian Authority regards the Israeli plan as a blow to the US-mediated Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The Palestinian side will restart efforts to join 63 international organizations including the International Criminal Court (ICC) if Israel announces plans for the construction of more settler homes, Erekat added.

“Those who fear the ICC should stop committing war crimes, including the construction of settlements,” Erekat said in reference to Israel.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators began a fresh round of talks in July. Previous talks between Palestinians and Israel broke down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

Since the resumption of the negotiations, Israel has announced plans for building several thousands of new settler units in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds.

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