The Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, demanded the U.S. President George W. Bush to press the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who is visiting the U.S. now, to immediately stop all settlements activity because this would kill the peace process, Palestinian sources reported on Monday.
‘We hope that President Bush will inform Mr. Sharon that Israel must stop all forms of violations including, settlements expansion, land confiscation, attempts to annex Jerusalem to Israel and the construction of the West Bank Apartheid wall.’ Qurei told reporters following his meeting with the European envoy for the peace process, Mark Otte.
Qurei added that he expects and hopes that Bush will bring these issues with Sharon, saying that they will be ‘digging a grave for the peace process if these three issues of Jerusalem, settlements and the wall were unsolved.’
Despite his intention to pullout of Gaza Strip, Sharon approved the construction of 3500 new housing units in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim east of Jerusalem.Ã‚Â Israel will confiscate huge areas of land for such construction and will link the settlement with East Jerusalem.
Israel argues that the construction orders are old, prior to the Bush-Sharon understandings of April 2004, in which Bush agreed that Israel will annex the major settlement blocs to Israel among many other issues in exchange to the withdrawal from Gaza Strip.