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UPDATED: 08:51, September 25, 2006
Palestinian official condemns Israel's settlements expansion in W. Bank
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A senior Palestinian official condemned on Sunday the current Israeli policy of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Tayssir Khaled, member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, considered Israel's decision to build more houses into the Israeli settlements in the West Bank settlements as "a new escalation and aggression against the Palestinians and their land."

Khaled clarified that Israeli Ministry of Housing launched bid to build 164 houses in Israeli settlements near the West Bank city of Nablus and Qalqeelya, noting that this is the second bid in three weeks after an earlier invitation for bid to build 690 houses in settlements in Jerusalem.

He explained that the expansion was an attempt by the Israeli government "to conciliate the radical right wing and settlers after the big failure in the war on Lebanon."

He also called on the international community, especially the U. S. and the European Union (EU), to exert pressure on Israel, as the settlements expansion policy contradicts with the U.S.- supported roadmap plan.

The roadmap plan calls on Israel to dismantle all settlements that were built after the 2001.

Source: Xinhua

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