Abbas urges US to respond to Israeli settlements
Ramallah: Palestinian president Mahmud
Abbas called on the US administration on Monday to "respond" to
the continuation of Israeli settlement activity after indirect
peace talks were launched.
"The American administration must respond to those
Israeli acts," he said, adding that Washington had promised to
the Palestinians a halt to Jewish settlement in the West Bank,
including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
"It must respond," he said. The US State Department said yesterday both sides were
taking measures "conducive to successful talks," and that
Israel had explained there would be no construction at east
Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo settlement for two years.
But Israel insisted it had made no commitment to freeze
settlement activity in east Jerusalem.
The announcement earlier this year that 1,600 settler
homes would be built at Rama Shlomo held up the start of the
talks, whose launch was eventually announced yesterday.
Israel said it is normal procedure for construction at
Ramat Shlomo to start a few years after the initial plan was