PNA not to forcibly ban workers from Jewish settlements

20:17, May 05, 2010      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is not going to forcibly ban people from working in Israeli settlements until providing alternative job opportunities in the West Bank, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The statement came a day after Palestinian Economy Minster, Hassan Abu Libdeh, urged the workers to stop working in all jobs inside the settlements as part of the PNA's plan to stop the expansion of Jewish settlements on the occupied territories.

It comes also as President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree outlawing the products of settlements in the Palestinian markets.

"The PNA has demanded the workers to voluntarily stop going to the Israeli settlements," said Ghassan Al-Khatib, spokesman for the Palestinian government.

Mr. Al-Khatib noted the number of Palestinians who work in the "illegal" settlements has dropped to 10,000 from 10,800 since the PNA started its campaign against the settlements.

The PNA blames the settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on thwarting the peace talks with Israel, stalled for 18 months.

Meanwhile, Mr. Al-Khatib said he does not believe that Israel is going to impose economical sanctions on the PNA for outlawing the settlements' products. "The settlements are illegitimate and there is no law allowing Israel to take contradictory measures."

Source: Xinhua


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