PLO condemns Israeli settlement plans
Published Thursday 10/10/2013 (updated) 12/10/2013 17:21
A general view of apartment blocks under construction in Pisgat
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat on Wednesday condemned Israel's approval of 58 new housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Zeev.
An Israeli municipality committee in Jerusalem approved the construction on Wednesday in a majority vote.
"Our position is clear and in line with international law: all Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal," Erekat said.
"Settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem, Ariel and Kiryat Arba is illegal and undermines the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution. If Israel is serious about peace, they must cease all settlement activities."
The international community must take concrete steps against all Israeli settlements and make Israel pay the price for its "institutionalized defiance of international law and UN resolutions."
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the United States after nearly three years of impasse.
Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.