Muslims call for stop of Israeli settlements building

Muslims call for stop of Israeli settlements building
Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:37:48

Leaders of Muslim nations have called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

"The international community must... put pressure on Israel to stop the illegal and provocative settlement construction," a statement said at the end of the 20th session of al-Quds Committee talks in Morocco on Saturday.

The statement said halting settlements will create a favorable context for the pursuit of negotiations between Israel and Palestinian authorities.

The committee was founded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1975 to resist the confiscation of Palestinian land and assets in al-Quds.

Chairman King Mohamed VI of Morocco opened the two-day meeting on Friday by calling for "a strong mobilization of our own means and resources... to defend the Holy City."

Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmud Abbas later said Israel has been using the so-called peace talks as a "cover" to expand settlements in the West Bank.

Fears are growing that the Israeli settlement expansion could undercut US-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Concerns over settlements grew recently after Israel announced the construction of 1,800 new settler units in the West Bank.

The Israeli decision sparked angry reactions from the United States and European countries, who said the move has negative impacts on the progress of the so-called peace talks.

The last round of Palestinian-Israeli talks broke down three years ago after Israel refused to check its settlement construction drive.


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