- Feb 16, 2012
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Left
With a second round of Israeli-Palestinian talks slated to take place next week, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat yesterday sent a furious letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that he stop Israel from moving forward on plans for new settlement construction.
Erekat did not threaten to boycott the talks, but warned that unless settlement expansion is stopped, he finds it hard to see how negotiations can “bring about progress towards a peace agreement.” The letter details several plans that Israel announced this week, including construction of 63 housing units in East Jerusalem’s Jabal Mukkaber neighborhood; construction of 878 units in various West Bank settlements, almost all of them outside the major settlement blocs; and the cabinet’s decision to include additional settlements on Israel’s list of national priority areas, which will entitle them to various benefits.
Claiming that the settlements violate both the Geneva Convention and Israel’s obligations under the Oslo Accords, Erekat termed these announcements evidence of “Israel’s bad faith and lack of seriousness,” as well as a direct slap in the face to Washington’s mediation efforts. He therefore urged Kerry to “take the necessary action to ensure that Israel does not advance any of its settlement plans, and abides by its legal obligations and commitments.”
Chief Palestinian negotiator to Kerry: Israeli settlement expansion could derail peace talks - Haaretz Com - Israel News | Haaretz
If Israel wants peace (on its face), then it needs to stop the settlement construction that does nothing but aggravate the Palestinians. I'd support enormous pressure by the U.N., U.K. and U.S. to rein in Israel. Since they've released prisoners already, it shows they're half serious about this go at peace, so if the world is to take Netanyahu serious at his word, the settlement construction must stop.