World Bulletin / News Desk
The Palestinian Authority on Monday condemned Israeli plans to build new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.
"Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegitimate and should be condemned," spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinha told the official Wafa news agency.
The Israeli government on Monday approved plans to build 50 settlement units in East Jerusalem.
Abu Rudeinah described the Israeli move as an "uncivilized and unethical message" to Pope Francis' visit to the Palestinian territories.
The pontiff concluded on Monday his first visit to the Middle East since his anointment in 2013. The visit had taken Pope Francis to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" Al-Quds with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity. They also insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.
International law considers the West Bank and Al-Quds occupied territories taken by Israel in 1967, viewing all Jewish settlement building on the land as illegitimate.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Al-Quds is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.Last Mod: 27 Mayıs 2014, 12:16