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Israel settlement activity, tax transmission freeze "exacerbating tensions": Japan

(Xinhua)

16:03, December 01, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Wednesday condemned Israel's decision to accelerate settlement activity in East Jerusalem and freeze the transmission of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, saying that both actions "are exacerbating tensions between the parties."

The statement came as Kazuo Kodama, deputy permanent representative of Japan to the United Nations, was speaking at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the situation in the Middle East.

"The settlement activities are a violation of international law, and the tax transmission freeze worsened the Palestinian Authority 's financial situation as well as the well-being of Palestinians in the affected areas," Kodama said.

"Japan is also concerned about the provocations by use of force between Israel and Palestinian militants and calls upon both parties to exercise maximum self-restraint and avoid causing further victims," he said.

Kodama also regretted that peace negotiations have stalled for more than a year, but he was still hopeful that a two-state solution could be realized through direct talks.

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