Abbas slams Israel settlement expansions

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has slammed the Tel Aviv regime for using the Palestinian-Israeli talks as a tool to cover its illegal settlement expansions.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the al-Quds Committee in the Moroccan capital, Marrakesh, on Friday, Abbas said that the US-brokered talks must “not serve as a cover for the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

He said that Tel Aviv is seeking to build more settler units on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“There can be no peace without stability, nor agreement without occupied east Jerusalem (al-Quds) being recognized as the capital of the Palestinian state,” Abbas stated.

The comments came a week after the Israeli regime announced plans to build some 1,800 new settler units in the West Bank.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

By Press TV


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