Palestine may sue Israel at UN over settlements

Palestine may sue Israel at UN over settlements
Thu Aug 22, 2013 08:00:26

The Palestinians are weighing to turn to international bodies to prevent Israeli regime from expanding settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds, a senior Palestinian legislator said.

“We are saying very clearly that if Israel does not stop, then we have to move,” Palestinian Legislator Hanan Ashrawi told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Jewish settlements in East al-Quds, where hundreds of new apartment units have been approved by Israeli regime in recent weeks.

Ashrawi said she was expressing the official Palestinian position, though it was not clear if her warning was a sign of frustration or actual intent.

Ashrawi said Abbas linked the suspension of the UN campaign to Israel's promise to release 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners, not to the talks. So far, Israel has freed 26 prisoners and the rest are expected to be freed in three more stages in coming months.

The Zionist regime is "deliberately destroying the chances of success for these talks" by accelerating settlement activity, Ashrawi added.

Head of Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas might be reluctant to disrupt recently resumed negotiations with such a step, for fear of incurring American anger.

Last year, Abbas won broad-based UN General Assembly recognition of a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East al-Quds. Israel fears further UN recognition of the Palestinians will deepen its international isolation.

An official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the Palestinians had promised to suspend their UN campaign during the negotiations, which are envisioned to last up to nine months. If they break that promise, they would violate one of the commitments that helped restart talks after a five-year freeze, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with briefing regulations.


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