PLO official Ashrawi blasts Netanyahu plan to keep settlement blocs

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday condemned as “disingenuous and manipulative” any talk of Israel annexing settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Ashrawi was responding to reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was willing to enter talks with the Palestinian Authority regarding the borders of settlement blocs that Israel wishes to retain as part of any final accord.
“This is a disingenuous and manipulative exercise of political and legal deception,” Ashrawi said. “All settlements are illegal and in flagrant contravention of international law and consensus, and any efforts to annex and to legalize the settlements blocs is a blatant attempt to steal more Palestinian land and to legitimize Israel’s ongoing system of apartheid, land theft and expansion.”
“Any negotiations must be based on international law, a binding and concrete timetable to dismantle and remove all illegal settlements, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” said Ashrawi, who is a member of the PLO executive committee.
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