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PA condemns Israeli settlement expansion

Aug. 12, 2011 10:44 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2011 10:59 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Thursday slammed the announcement of Israel's interior ministry to build 1,600 new Israeli settlement homes near Jerusalem.

In a statement from Ramallah-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's office, the government said the settlement expansion "clearly demonstrate Israel’s intentions to conduct their affairs outside the realm of international law and show total disregard for Palestinian rights."

The spokesman of the Israeli ministry said Thursday that the 1,600 new builds in Ramat Shlomo, would be followed by 2,000 more in Givat Hamatos and 700 in Pisgat Zeev in coming days. Just a week earlier, the ministry had announced 900 new homes in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem settlement Har Homa.

"The Government of Israel continues to expand settlement activity while it makes claims that it wants to return to the negotiation table," the Palestinian Authority statement said.

"These actions are being taken despite international pressure and consensus that these are occupied territory that belongs to Palestinians."

The West Bank-based government urged the international community "to take immediate action to force Israel to comply with international law and cease and desist from its illegal expansion and annexation of Palestinian land," the statement said.
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