'Israel using int'l climate to abandon two-state solution'

After new building approval, PLO says region "headed to bloody conflict"; UN slams "illegal" plans; US: Actions counter to talks efforts.

April 5, 2011 16:02
1 minute read.
Gilo overlooks all of west Jerusalem

Gilo panorama 311. (photo credit: Matthias Guggisberg)


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The PLO's Executive Committee on Tuesday accused Israel of exploiting the global climate to abandon the two-state solution, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

A statement quoted in the report cited the Monday approval of 942 housing units in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood as well as the approval of master plans for several West Bank settlements.

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"This dangerous escalation is due to the failure of the Quartet and the international community to stop Israel’s ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people and their land," the PLO committee said in a statement. “The region is headed towards a bloody conflict, with an unpredictable outcome.”

Also Tuesday, the United Nations reacted harshly to the two construction plans, saying the moves were illegal.

"We reiterate that Israeli settlement activity anywhere in occupied territory, including in east Jerusalem, is illegal and contrary to the Roadmap. We call on the Israeli Government to halt further planning for new settlement units, which undermines efforts to bring about resumed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and prejudices final status discussions," Richard Miron, spokesman for the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry said in a statement.

The UN statement came after the US expressed concern over settlement expansion on Monday.

"The United States is deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to settlement construction," ABC News quoted White House National Security Staff spokesman Tommy Vietor as saying.

"Not only are continued Israeli settlements illegitimate, Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations," Vietor added.

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