Abbas denounces Israeli settlement policy

June 18, 2012 at 6:48 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, June 18 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel's settlement-building is the reason for a failed Israeli-Palistinian peace process.

Abbas accused Israel of destroying chances of a two-state solution -- Israel and a Palestinian state -- because of continued settlement-building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"We have emphasized that we are in favor of the two-state solution and reaching a settlement through negotiations," the Post quoted him as saying Sunday in Ramallah. "The negotiations should lead to recognition of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the 1967 borders."

The reference is to Israel's borders before the Six-Day War of 1967.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, in an upcoming visit to Washington, will reiterate the Palestinian position that calls for Israel to cease all settlement activity, a Palestinian official said.

"Erekat will demand that the U.S. administration exert pressure on the Israeli government to stop construction in the settlements … ," the official said.

"We want real American pressure that would force Israel to halt settlement construction. … But if Israel doesn't present anything, we will ultimately go to the U.N," the newspaper quoted Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, as saying.

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