The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that settlement activities conducted by the Israeli government in the Palestinian territories are illegal.

The statements of Abbas were made as the Israeli Prime Minister is preparing to conduct a visit to the states next week.

The Bush administration recently backed away from its position rejecting settlement expansion; Bush is his upcoming meeting with Sharon will avoid talking about settlements.

Recently, the Israeli government decided to expand Maali Adumim settlement and link it with the east of Jerusalem.