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Jerusalem panel meets amid Israel-EU settlement row
Published Saturday 18/01/2014 (updated) 19/01/2014 19:47
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Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (L) and the
Moroccan king Mohammed VI (2nd R) attend the al-Quds
(meaning Jerusalem) Committee Meeting in Support of Middle East
Peace Process on Jan. 17, 2014 at the royal palace in Marrakesh
(AFP Fadel Senna)
MARRAKESH, Morocco (AFP) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday against Israel using peace talks as a "cover" to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas was speaking in Morocco at a meeting of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee amid heightened concern by Arab and Western nations over new Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The US-brokered peace talks must "not serve as a cover for the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories," said Abbas.

Israel last week announced plans to build some 1,800 new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, including annexed East Jerusalem.

The announcement came only days after the latest peace mission by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who slammed the settlements as "illegitimate" and "unhelpful."

The controversial decision prompted Britain, Italy, France, and Spain to summon Israeli ambassadors in protest, with Israel calling in European ambassadors on Friday in a tit-for-tat move.

"There can be no peace without stability, nor agreement without occupied east Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of the Palestinian state," Abbas said.

The Al-Quds Committee was founded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 1975 to resist the confiscation of Palestinian land and assets in Jerusalem.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco's King Mohamed VI, as president of the committee, called for "a strong mobilization of our own means and resources ... to defend the Holy City."

After Israel unveiled its new settlement plans last week a furious row erupted with the United States, when Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon launched a bitter personal tirade against Secretary of State John Kerry for his "obsession" with brokering a framework peace deal with the Palestinians by April.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday accused the European Union of a "hypocritical" attitude toward the Middle East peace process, saying it should be more concerned by Palestinian militancy than Israeli housing construction.

The international community considers all settlements to be illegal that were built on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.

The Palestinians want any peace deal to recognize borders based on the lines that existed before then, when Israel captured the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.
1 ) Julie / USA
18/01/2014 09:51
there's a very sick pathology in izraelis who cannot see how they intentionally alienate, isolate and delegitimize themselves with respect to the rest of the entire world...as well as incite intense anger & hatred against them. and as if that's not bad enough, they then further their deep pathology by screaming they are victims of "anti-semitism", "bias", "singled out" when the world takes action against their crimes. these criminal zionists are the MOST DANGEROUS THREAT to the entire world.

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
18/01/2014 12:13
It is time for Abbas to go to ICC. Yesterday Lapid said: peace is not the issue, we need to get rid of the Palestinians. It threatens us, it chokes us. (source Ynet) The "Israelis" don't want peace, all they want is a greater "Israel". The peace talks are only used to buy time.

3 ) Jerusalem is the ETERNAL / CAPITAL
18/01/2014 12:47
of the ONLY JEWISH STATE IN THE WORLD Islam does not care about Jerusalem (Arabs who pray in Jerusalem turn to MECCAH!). Islam simply cannot accept a JEWISH ENTITY in its midst Until that changes there will NOT BE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

4 ) ali / South Africa
18/01/2014 13:59
well said remember the mighty must fall

5 ) Wayne / nz
18/01/2014 14:01
@ 1 .... Wow, that says it all, i just can't under stand why its taken so long for the rest of the world to wake up to what Israel has been doing. the problem we face now is the leaders of Israel are all guilty of war crime, even there current P.M. is guilty of a hit, so they won't be giving up easy. They have blood on there hands and sadly so dose the u.s

6 ) E / usa
18/01/2014 14:11
Sure julie whatever makes your fantasies come true. And syria is the most peaceful country in the world with 130000 dead in 2 years and al queda who blew world trade center on 9/11 is the most friendly. What imagination do u have wow.

7 ) southparkbear / usa
18/01/2014 14:29
maan please consider #1 as your chief journalist of the entertainment section

8 ) Shina / F
18/01/2014 14:41
the question is, how long will the Palestinians and muslims world wide tolerate that the kriminelen fraudulent intrigues from the murderers and occupiers of the Palestinian Land without taking legal action???,we all know talking is not enough after decades of nothing for the Palestinian people's.

9 ) Jootoo / UK
18/01/2014 15:33
The problem the Islamic anti Israel lobby has is, Israel houses and educates her people. And the Islamic countries allow their citizens to remain uneducated and live in poor quality hovels.

10 ) Tanya / CH
18/01/2014 16:29
it is hard, but i suggest the Palestinians should Stop Taking Aid from USA and Canada which are threatens the Palestinian Authorities if they take Israel to the ICC,they will stop aiding them(is why the Arabs should help Palestine).it would be a liberation and the freedom of power to bring israel before any court for their rights to the land and the main city of palestine which it has always been.

11 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
18/01/2014 17:48
#3 You mean: the only zionist state! I am a Jew, leave me, and many other non-zionist Jews with me, out of your shit.

12 ) Mutassim / Palestine
18/01/2014 22:26
@3) - What Muslims & Christians, Jews & others cannot accept in their midst is the Zionist mindset, which has nothing to do with not wanting Jewish people in the Middle East. All three faiths could live alongside each other & did, until along came the Zionists bent on taking the land from those already there. Enter Hagganah, Stern, Irgun with their terrorist tactics & now here we are in 2014 with the Palestinians trying just to claim a small part of their own land back. Al Quds is in Filasteen.

13 ) Rene / US
19/01/2014 10:48
I was glad to hear from the Al-Quds Committee today. I hope to hear more.
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