RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Fatah and Hamas said Monday that Israel's decision to continue building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories threw into question its commitment to achieving a peace agreement.
Ahmad Assaf, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement that there was "nothing worse than what is being practiced against Palestinians by the Israeli occupation, including the closure and siege imposed on Gaza."
Although Israeli leaders suggest they want peace, "they are lying," Assaf said. They have demonstrated their unwillingness to achieve a deal through actions which speak louder than words, he added.
Hamas, meanwhile, demanded that the Palestinian Authority permanently cease negotiations.
"The PA should stop negotiations now and forever. Israel does whatever it wants without a thought to Palestinian rights," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
"What is needed from the PA is a declaration of their withdrawal from negotiations and encouragement of resistance, which is the only means through which Palestinian will regain their rights."
Barhoum added that Israel's settlement policy was aimed at making the Palestinian territories Jewish. He called on all Palestinians and especially those from Jerusalem to oppose the occupation and settlements.