On Tuesday, the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad accused Israeli of not fulfilling its obligations regarding the freezing of all settlement activity in the West Bank and not removing the checkpoints which restrict the Palestinians freedom of movement.

His statement came during a speech he delivered in the US capital Washington to an audience of American and Arab diplomats in addition to journalists.

Fayyad said that even after two months of the American sponsored Annapolis conference nothing of what had been agreed has been achieved ‘ Annapolis was an important step forward but I can’t say that we do not have difficulties. In the same month of the conference the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians left 165 killed and over 521 injured in addition to the damage of property.’

The Palestinian Prime Minister added ‘What is not happening that should happen is progression on the two issues: going ahead with fulfilling the obligations of the road map agreement, and I do not see an Israeli commitment to freeze settlement activity.’

Fayyad criticized Israel for requesting bids to build 300 additional housing units in Jerusalem during the week that followed the Annapolis conference, as well as not easing restrictions on military checkpoints in the West Bank which led to Israel receiving a rare reprimand from the United States government.

At the end of his speech Fayyad demanded a removal of the Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank ‘the checkpoints cannot disappear overnight but why not start the process.’

The Annapolis conference took place in late November 2007 in the American city of Maryland. At the conference the Palestinians and Israelis agreed to recover the stalled peace talks on the bases of the American Road Map peace plan of 2003.

The Road Map peace plan states that Israel should halt its attacks, settlement construction and remove military checkpoints; in return the Palestinian Authority will stop all armed resistance against Israel.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News