Israel plans more settlements in East Jerusalem

Palestinians, who want their own state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, see the settlements as a land grab as an occupier.

Israel plans more settlements in East Jerusalem

Israel has approved a plan to build another 600 settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, the Haaretz daily newspaper reported on Friday.

Palestinian official Ghassan al-Khatib denounced the decision as another Israeli violation of international law.

Israeli officials reached by telephone had no immediate comment.

He said it threatened to derail efforts to resume negotiations that have not convened since a war in Gaza in December 2008.

Khatib, a former cabinet minister who heads the Palestinian press office, said Palestinians would pursue a "peaceful, legal, public struggle against Israeli settlement expansion and occupation".

A similar building plan proposed late last year for other parts of the Jerusalem area drew international condemnation.

Israel has also been criticised for demolitions of Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem and for threatening to demolish more houses.

The newspaper said more homes were intended to be built near the Pisgat Zeev neighbourhood and the Palestinian area of Shuafat.

After repeated calls to end settlements, President Barack Obama bowed to Israel's refusal to stop settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, urging only for "restraint" in settlement, a retreat from his policy.

The roadmap calls on Israel to remove all outpost settlements erected after 2001 and to stop settlement expansion, but so far Israel has not heeded the international demands for a complete settlement freeze and declared new settlement projects on the occupied lands.

The World Court has ruled all settlements illegal under international law. Palestinians, who want their own state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, see the settlements as a land grab as an occupier.


Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2010, 16:54
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