Israel pushes ahead with plans for 3000 settlement homes

Laura Christensen
June 10, 2017

"We have not made the settlements an up-front issue this time", Mustafa said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The country director also said the struggle to stop human rights abuses in Palestine should continue unabated to create better living standards for Palestinians.

The latest developments come days after a visit by Trump to the occupied territories.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently initiated a series of trust building gestures towards the Palestinians, but they are apparently unimpressed by them.

Even if Trump can get the two sides back to the negotiating table, the differences between them on core issues such as borders, Jerusalem and refugees are enormous.

Israeli authorities were not available to comment immediately on the Peace Now report. Last week, he signed a waiver to delay shifting the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for six more months.

The Bloomberg report quoted another high-ranking Abbas aide, Mohammad Shtayyeh, as saying that Trump earned Palestinian confidence when he postponed moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Shtayyeh helped lead the Palestinian team at the talks, which took place in Washington, Israel and the West Bank.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled in 2014, and there have been no serious attempts to restart negotiations.

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The committee accused Israel of "stealing Palestinian money" by imposing excessive fines on prisoners, claiming that the fines were used to finance the Israeli military and incarceration systems levied against Palestinians.

Israel's unlawful construction and expansion of settlements and their related infrastructure on Palestinian soil is one of the most defining features of Israel's occupation and has bred mass violations against Palestinians over the past five decades.

Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over 1967 lines are considered illegal under worldwide law and have been consistently condemned by the United Nations and global community.

More than 600,000 settlers live among 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem.

MEF said the conflict will only be resolved once the Palestinians are defeated, abandon the objective of destroying Israel and recognize the Jewish state.

Mustafa said that hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid that donor nations pledged to the Palestinian Authority, but did not deliver, are imperative for saving the Palestinian economy.

More than 3,000 units have been advanced this week, a spokesman for the NGO that tracks settlement building in the Palestinian territory told AFP. He contrasted Trump's attitude with that of former President Barack Obama, who he said "outsourced" the project to ex-Secretary of State John Kerry.

"That doesn't mean that I am optimistic", he added.

Other reports by My Hot News

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