PA Slams Israel’s New Settlement Plan

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has condemned Israel’s approval of a plan to construct hundreds more illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says the PA "strongly condemns the decision of the Israeli government to speed up and increase the building of settlements."

"It strongly condemns the settler attacks against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and we ask the Quartet to urgently intervene to stop the actions of the settlers," he told AFP.

The condemnation came after Tel Aviv ordered construction of hundreds of settlements in four areas of the occupied West Bank.

"The ministerial committee responsible for settlements had decided to build several hundred units at Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Ariel and Kyriat Sefer" in the West Bank, announced the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Sunday statement.

Censuring the decision as "a mistake," Nabil Abu Rudeina, the spokesman for Acting PA Chief Mahmud Abbas, said that the Israeli regime is moving to create "big problems."

"The decision taken to build new settlements is a mistake and unacceptable," said Rudeina, adding "It will destroy everything and will lead to big problems."

The move would further complicate the stalled talks between Israeli and the PA officials.

Early this month, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics said that the illegal settlement construction in the occupied West bank has climbed sharply in the past five months.

The data, released by the bureau on March 5, indicates that the Israeli regime started over 114 settlement units during the 10-month construction freeze Tel Aviv announced in November 2009.

The 114 units, the construction of which began during the so-called freeze, have now been completed. Additionally, the building of over 1,175 other units that started before the partial moratorium went into effect, have also finished.

The data also reveals that construction of over 427 housing units has begun since the expiration of the freeze in late September.

Israel’s insistence to resume its West Bank settlement construction projects — deemed by the international community as illegal — prompted Palestinian Authority negotiators to walk out a new round of US-sponsored direct talks.

Palestinians have repeatedly voiced concern over efforts by the Israeli regime to wipe out the Islamic and Palestinian identity of the occupied territories, East al-Quds in particular, to effectively render the establishment of a future Palestinian state unfeasible.

(Press TV)

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