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PA: 2013 must be year of independent Palestine

Jan. 2, 2013 5:16 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 3, 2013 3:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority cabinet on Wednesday called for 2013 to be the year of an independent Palestinian state and the end of Israeli occupation.

At its weekly meeting, the government said it was determined to "continue and accelerate the pace towards the realization of national sovereignty on the land of the independent state of Palestine."

Slamming recent settlement expansion and tax seizure by Israel, the cabinet called on the world to "assume its responsibility without any hesitation or equivocation, to compel Israel to the rules of international law and relevant international resolutions."

The government also urged the international community to press Israel "to stop undermining the (government’s) standing to undermine our people's ability to stay steadfast."

The West Bank-headquartered authority also urged an end to the division with the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

"The continuing division remains the biggest and most dangerous failure that continues to confront our nation," the cabinet statement said.
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