|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search | Mirror in USA|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|CPC and State Organs|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Wednesday, May 09, 2001, updated at 08:16(GMT+8)|
Sharon Rejects Calls for Freezing Settlement ActivityIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reiterated here on Tuesday that Israel will not freeze its settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, despite calls by the international fact-finding commission and the world community.
Speaking to foreign journalists at a press conference, Sharon refused to acknowledge that Israel occupies the Palestinian land, which he termed, instead, "disputed land."
Asked whether Israel could halt settlement construction even for a short period of time so as to give the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Yasser Arafat a chance to honor his promise to stop violence, Sharon said that Israel "will not pay the protection money in order not to be killed."
Sharon, the hawkish leader from the right-wing Likud Party who came to power two months ago, repeated his old statement that his government has pledged not to build new settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but will continue to "add new homes" to meet the need of the population growth in the existing ones.
Sharon said that he is committed to peace and offers a two-stage plan for achieving peace with the Palestinians.
First of all, Israel will work to ease the restrictions on the life of the Palestinian population and there must be "a total cessation of violence," said sharon.
After that, talks for a non-belligerency agreement can be resumed, he said.
In the end of the process, Sharon said, there will be peace, but it will not happen before "a long-time non-belligerency." He reiterated that there will be no negotiations under fire.
The prime minister termed "a very dangerous development" the seizure of a cargo of weapons on a Lebanese boat bound for the Gaza Strip on Sunday, and accused the PNA of attempting to smuggle weapons into the territories.
Israel has built more than 140 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the 1967 Middle East War. The settlement policy, which is against the Geneva Convention, has been condemned by the world community.
The recently concluded report by the international fact-finding commission, headed by the former U.S. senator George Mitchell to probe the causes of the current Palestinian Al-Aqsa Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation, also urged Israel to freeze its settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Palestinians have set an Israeli freeze on settlement construction as a precondition for halting violence.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||