The head of the Negotiations Department in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Sa'ed Erekat, stated on Tuesday that negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel can not continue with ongoing Israeli settlement construction activity in the West Bank.

The Palestinian official told Palestinian National Radio that he had informed the Israeli negotiation team that talks between the two sides must be suspended in the face of ongoing Israeli activity in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks were revived last November during the one day Annapolis conference in Maryland USA, based on the Road Map Peace Plan of 2003.

The American-sponsored Road Map states clearly that Israeli must stop its settlement activity.

Dr Erekat demanded that the international community must put more pressure on Israel over its settlement activity, in addition to halting its military attacks on the Palestinians, "in order to make the year 2008 a year of peace," the Palestinian official stated.

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