No Peace Talks with Israel Before Settlement Freeze

Former Palestinian Authority foreign minister Nabil Sha’ath says peace talks with the current Israeli administration is unlikely on account of its construction in West Bank settlements.

"Israel’s threats to invade the Gaza Strip and American pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to miss what they believe is an opportunity, won’t drive us to resume the peace talks while settlement construction continues in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem [Al-Quds]," Sha’ath stated in Ramallah on Tuesday.

"We believe that any return to the negotiations would be a waste of time and would provide a cover for Israeli settlements," Sha’ath pointed out.

"They want us to return to the negotiating table without a halt of settlement construction and the Judaization of Jerusalem [Al-Quds] and the removal of the blockade on the Gaza Strip," he said. "And they are constantly threatening us that we would be missing a second opportunity."

The member of Fatah’s Central Committee also condemned Washington’s threats to veto any UN Security Council resolution intended for the declaration of Palestine independence.

Under the 2002 Road Map for Peace plan brokered by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, Israel must ‘dismantle settlement outposts erected since 2001 and also freeze all settlement activities.’

There are currently 121 Israeli settlements and approximately 102 Israeli outposts built illegally on Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967. All of these settlements and outposts are illegal under international law and have been condemned by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions.

These settlements and outposts are inhabited by a population of 462,000 Israeli settlers. Some 191,000 Israelis are living in settlements around Jerusalem Al-Quds and an additional 271,400 are spread throughout the West Bank.

(Press TV)

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