PNA hails EU's stance against Israel's house demolitions in Jerusalem

22:07, June 30, 2010      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Wednesday welcomed statements by a European Union (EU) official that described Israel's policy of house demolitions in Jerusalem as "an obstacle to peace."

"Such statements are encouraging," Palestinian official Wafa news agency quoted the PNA's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdineh as saying.

"The EU's stance is a clear message to Israel that peacemaking is in danger because of its practices on the ground," he added.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday in a statement that "settlements and the demolition of homes are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."

On Sunday, Israeli police and Palestinian protestors clashed in Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem where the Jewish state is going to demolish 22 Palestinian-owned houses for settlement purposes.

Abu Rdineh urged the United States and the international Quartet to take "decisive steps to stop Israel's plans in Jerusalem that would definitely harm the peace process."

Israel's Channel 10 news reported on Wednesday that work began to construct a new neighborhood for settlers in the Shepherd Hotel complex in East Jerusalem.

Fatah official in charge of Jerusalem affairs, Hatem Abdul Qader, told Xinhua that this act proves Israel's intention to thwart the U.S.-mediated proximity talks.

In May, the Palestinians and Israel went for indirect proximity talks under an American umbrella.

The four-month proximities are meant to bridge the gap between the two sides to resume direct talks which halted in 2008 when Israel launched an all-out attack on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.



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