Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said on Thursday that the Israeli decision to construct a new settlement in Jerusalem is a direct violation of international law and negatively affects the possibility of a comprehensive final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This decision is not only a direct violation to the international law, it also threatens the future of the final-status negotiations, which includes Jerusalem,Ã¢â‚¬Â Erekat said.
While the Palestinian Authority demands that Israel resume negotiations on so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“final-statusÃ¢â‚¬Â issues, whichÃ‚Â include hte future of Jerusalem, settlements and the refugees, Israel is responding with new plans to construct settlements in order to create forced realities and situations on the ground, Erekat charged.
On Sunday the Israeli government plans to discuss plans to construct a new settlement neighborhood in the area located between Maale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem.
The Knesset approved another project to construct 3, 500 housing units in the same area.
Commenting on his Wednesday meeting with Israeli vice prime minister Shimon Peres, Erekat said that it was part of the continuous meetings between Palestinian and Israeli officials on issues regarding the Israeli withdrawal.
Erekat told Peres that the P.A rejects any Israeli presence on the Rafah border crossing after the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip. The P.A acceptsÃ‚Â the presence ofÃ‚Â European forces on the crossing, in addition to the Palestinian and Egyptian forces, he added.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The P.A intends to arrive to agreements with Israel regarding the crossings and roads between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,Ã¢â‚¬Â Erekat said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We also want to arriveÃ‚Â at agreements regarding rebuilding the Gaza International AirportÃ¢â‚¬Â.