Yasser Abed Rabu, the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization – PLO – and a member of the negotiations teem with Israel, demanded on Thursday a halt of all talks with Israel due to its continued settlement expansion in the West BankAbed Rabu told the Palestinian National radio that talks with Israeli can't continue while it continues to construct and expand settlements in the occupied West Bank including Jerusalem.
He added that “if the U.S is unable to stop Israel from building settlements, then it will not be able to make peace”.
The Palestinian official also said that Israeli is trying to trick the Palestinians by calling for the continuation of the political process while the Palestinians do not see any positive development on the ground.
Abed Rabu concluding his statement by saying the Israel is changing the demography and geography of the Palestinian territories by expanding the settlements and the construction of the Annexation Wall.
On Wednesday, Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli government is planning to construct nearly 2000 homes for settlers in the occupied West Bank in 2008.
The new plan is considered the largest one since Israel’s settlement activities in the 1990’s when Israel built 5000 houses per year for Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Israeli Peace Now movement issued a report recently stating that the Israeli government has increased settlement activity after the one day American sponsored Annapolis conference last November.
During the Annapolis summit, Palestinians and Israelis agreed to resume talks based on the Road Map peace plan which the U.S president Bush put forward in 2003. The Road Map plan, which Israel agreed to, states that Israel should freeze all settlement activities in the West Bank; it also calls for ending the violence on both sides.