Ramallah (Palestinian Territories): Palestinians urged the international community to
immediately recognise a Palestinian state in response to
Israel`s decision to build 1,300 new east Jerusalem settler
"This latest unilateral Israeli act necessitates
dramatic international action for immediate recognition of the
Palestinian state (based) on the June 4, 1967 borders," chief
negotiator Saeb Erakat said in a statement.
Israel`s decision yesterday to approve the new homes
in occupied east Jerusalem sparked widespread condemnation
from the international community with the United States, the
United Nations, the European Union and Russia all speaking out
Erakat said the decision "further threatens the
already stagnated negotiations process."
Direct talks resumed in early September but quickly
ran aground when an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement
construction expired later that month, prompting the
Palestinians to freeze talks until Israel reimposes the
Israel has so far refused, despite huge international
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently
in the US for talks aimed at finding a way to resume peace
"Once more, at the moment that we expected Prime
Minister Netanyahu to announce a full settlement freeze... he
has sent Palestinians and the US administration a clear
message that Israel chooses settlements, not peace," Erakat
"Israel is acting as a state above the law, and the
international community must react," he added.
The Palestinians have repeatedly threatened to go to
the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state if
peace talks fail, but Israel has cautioned against any
unilateral moves, saying the only way to peace is through
a negotiated agreement.
Israel seized mostly-Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967
Six Day War and annexed it shortly afterwards in a move not
recognised by the international community or the Palestinians,
who consider it the capital of their promised state.
The Palestinians see the settlements as a major threat
to the establishment of a viable state, and they view the
freezing of settlement activity as a crucial test of Israel`s