Palestine rejects US, Israel deal

Palestine rejects US, Israel deal

 “There are no middle-ground solutions for the settlement issue; either settlement activity stops or it doesn’t stop,” Saeb Erekat asserted. 

He revealed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had sent a letter putting forward the Palestinian position to US President Barack Obama.

Erekat continued: “If settlement continues Israel will be allowed to build one thousand units here and two thousand units there. This will lead Arabs and Palestinians to believe that the American administration is incapable of swaying Israel to halt its settlement activities. The message is clear: settlements should stop immediately.”

Erekat’s comments were a direct response to the Israeli reports that Tel Aviv and Washington are discussing a deal that would allow Israel to complete 2,500 West Bank housing units currently under construction to accommodate growing settler families.

A US official had on Wednesday denied a report in an Israeli daily that such a proposition had been agreed. Obama has called for a total freeze on Israeli colonisation activity as a first step toward reviving the peace process. Since conquering the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has planted 5,00,000 settlers in these occupied areas in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law. Erekat’s statement also amounts to a flat rejection of Sunday’s call by Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu for a resumption of negotiations.

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