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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Britain will officially advise its citizens not to buy property in "occupied territories," The Guardian reported Friday.
The advisory, which will reportedly be issued on the Foreign Office (FCO) Web site in the next 48 hours, will warn potential buyers that a peace accord could have consequences for that property, FCO officials said.
"Potential purchasers should be aware that a future peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians or between Israel and Syria could have consequences for the property they purchased," the FCO stated in a draft warning.
The Guardian quoted the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, as saying, "This is a dramatic change of policy by Great Britain. They have gone a long way in being critical of Israel's policies. In the past they have talked about settlement being an obstacle to peace and so on. But this is a milestone. They are now being proactive and very serious."
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in London said: "If this is true it is highly disappointing in the light of the successful visit paid by Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert to the UK during which he held frank and detailed discussion of the measures Israel is willing to take to advance the peace process with the Palestinians."
Following talks with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad on Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories were one of the largest remaining obstacles to a Mideast peace deal.
Brown added that resolving the settlement issue and boosting investment in Palestinian businesses could help broker a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.