Friday, Aug. 28
Latest News
  1. Amnesty accuses UAE of torturing Libyan-Canadian
  2. Qatar Airways 'shamed' into action over pregnancy, marriage
  3. Iran premieres big-budget epic film 'Muhammad'
  4. Tel Aviv's 'Iranian embassy' turns out to be atomic hoax
  5. Iraq PM orders forces to prepare to open Green Zone
  6. Officer: Yemen army recruits 4,800 southern fighters
  7. Monitor: Qaeda-led forces advance on Syria airbase
  8. 71 migrants perish in Austria truck tragedy
  9. German court says ban on rallies in Heidenau 'illegal'
  10. Brazil enters recession in second quarter
  11. State news: Greek snap election set for September 20
  12. Aid workers: Toll in Libya migrant shipwreck rises to 76
  13. IS kills two generals in Iraq, advances in Syria
  14. Qatar Airways 'shamed' into action over pregnancy, marriage
  15. Egypt court sentences 12 IS supporters to death
  16. UN moves forward with plans for Syria chemical weapons probe
  17. Iran premieres big-budget epic film 'Muhammad'
  18. Israel to use crop, water technology to win friends in Africa
  19. Merkel says Austrian tragedy a 'warning' in migrant crisis
  20. US economy grew 3.7% in second quarter

Erekat: PLO not notified of settlement freeze

May 7, 2013 7:16 P.M. (Updated: May 8, 2013 7:35 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel has not notified the PLO of any changes to its settlement activity, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday, as Israeli media reported a new moratorium on settler homes in the West Bank.

"We have not been notified of any changes to Israel’s colonial plans, including ongoing construction in dozens of Israeli settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine, including in and around our occupied capital East Jerusalem," Erekat said in a statement.

Israel's army radio reported Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered a freeze on publishing tenders for new West Bank settler homes to avoid hampering US efforts to renew peace talks.

“What we need are actions and not words," Erekat said in response to the report. "We monitor Israeli activities on the ground on a daily basis."

Neither Netanyahu's office nor the housing ministry would comment on the army radio report, which said the premier had gone back on a pre-election pledge to push ahead with thousands of new settler homes if re-elected.

The radio said the tenders were related to construction in the major settlement blocs which are home to most of the 360,000 Israelis living in the West Bank.

Netanyahu's decision to freeze the tenders was linked to efforts led by US Secretary of State John Kerry to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians, according to the report.

Hagit Ofran of the Israeli group Peace Now, which opposes settlements, confirmed that the watchdog had seen no evidence of any new tenders published since the start of 2013.

"There have been no new tenders published for settlement construction in the West Bank since the start of the year, and tenders are normally issued every three months," she told AFP.

"This is not a settlement freeze because construction in the settlements is continuing, but you could say it is a show of restraint by Benjamin Netanyahu who does not want to be accused by the Americans of being responsible for the failure of their efforts to restart negotiations with the Palestinians."

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015