Israel Gives Settlements Go-Ahead on Eve of Palestinian Peace Talks
Israel approved nearly 1,200 new housing units Sunday on land that the Palestinians claim for their state just three days before U.S.-sponsored peace talks on the borders of such a state are due to begin in Jerusalem.
Negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh said the settlement plans, the third such proposal announced in one week, are “clear proof the Israeli government is not serious about the talks.”
Palestinian officials said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told them that the U.S. views Israel’s pre-1967 border lines as the starting point for their talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to endorse that idea.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Wait, before you go…
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post:
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967. Since the 1967 war, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem that are now home to some 560,000 Israelis.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had long insisted he would not resume negotiations without a building settlement freeze, arguing that their expansion pre-empts the outcome of such talks. Most of the international community deems settlements illegal.
Abbas dropped his demand for the building freeze after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry won Israel’s agreement to release inmates serving long sentences, including those involved in the killing of Israelis who otherwise would likely have spent the rest of their days in prison.
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