Abbas: Israel not respecting int'l law with settlement building

July 18, 2009 15:21


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Israel has not respected international law by continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday. Speaking during a press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Abbas urged Israel to cease settlement construction immediately. Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank is one of the most contentious issues of the peace process, and has recently been cited by the Palestinians as a central obstacle blocking the resumption of negotiations. However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to cease the building, saying that at a minimum expansion was needed in order to satisfy the "natural growth" of communities in the area.

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