The Palestinian president has expressed hope that a Middle East conference in France will set a timetable to end settlements – as Israel pushed ahead with plans to build thousands of homes in contravention of a recent UN resolution.
Mahmoud Abbas spoke days after a US abstention allowed the security council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Addressing a meeting of his Fatah party on Tuesday, Abbas said: “The [resolution] proves that the world rejects the settlements, as they are illegal, in our occupied land including east Jerusalem.”
He also said: “The decision lays the foundation for any future serious negotiation … and it paves the way for the international peace conference slated to be held in Paris next month, and we hope this conference comes up with a mechanism and timetable to end the occupation.”
However, , Jerusalem authorities are set to approve thousands of new housing units in the eastern sector of the city this week, despite the resolution.
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