The Palestinian Authority prime minister is urging the European Union not to upgrade ties with Israel unless Israel halts settlement expansion and construction of the West Bank separation barrier. Prime Minister Salaam Fayad spoke Wednesday in the village of Bilin. The small town has become a symbol of Palestinian protest against the barrier. The barrier threatens to swallow almost 10 percent of West Bank land. Fayad has sent a letter to the EU asking it not to upgrade ties with Israel unless Israel freezes settlements. On Wednesday, he raised the issue publicly. He said the international community needs to take a firm stand. He said that "in this context came our call to the EU" not to upgrade its relationship with Israel.