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Hamas official welcomes European response to settler plan

Dec. 6, 2012 5:27 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 7, 2012 5:07 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A senior Hamas official on Thursday praised countries, particularly in Europe, for censuring Israel over its settlement expansion plan.

Izzat al-Rishq welcomed moves by Spain, Denmark, France, Britain, Sweden and Italy to summon their Israeli ambassadors in protest against the move, in comments on his official Facebook page.

The Hamas politburo members also welcomed Egypt's summoning of their Israeli envoy over the settlement expansion, which came after Palestine was recognized as a non-member state at the UN.

On Monday, senior PLO officials applauded Europe's response to settlement building.

PLO executive committee member Ahmad Majdalani told Ma'an that Europe's patience with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not been constructive, and that practical, tangible steps were needed to pressure Israel to obey international laws and the will of the international community.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said Europe's position had changed not because Palestine is a recognized state, but because Israel had gone too far.

Ashrawi said the US and the EU had asked Israel not to build in the "E1" zone east of Jerusalem, "but Israel today tells the world that ... (it is) above the law."
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