Egypt condemns Israeli plan to speed settlement building

Israeli response to PA acceptance into UNESCO a "blow to all efforts exerted to reach a fair settlement to the conflict," Egyptian FM says.

By REUTERS
November 4, 2011 19:49
1 minute read.
Construction in Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood

Settlement Construction 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

CAIRO - Egypt's foreign minister condemned Israel on Friday for its decision to expand settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to the Palestinians' acceptance into UNESCO.

Israel decided to accelerate Jewish settlement building on Tuesday, the day after UNESCO awarded the Palestinians full membership of the UN cultural agency.

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"Egypt condemns the Israeli decision to accelerate the building of 1,000 units in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank," Amr Ali said in a statement.

Israel's decision was a "blow to all efforts exerted to reach a fair settlement to the conflict and Palestinian issue" and also a provocation to Palestinians.

The UNESCO decision was regarded as a diplomatic victory for the Palestinian Authority, which has pushed to be recognized as a state at the UN.

Israel called the UNESCO decision a "tragedy" and the United States said it would stop its funding of the organization.


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