Khaled denounces US attempts to reach decisions on settlements in absence of Palestinian side

PNN/ Ramallah/

Member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Head of the Palestinian Expatriates Affairs Department, Tayseer Khaled, on Monday condemned US attempts to reach agreements with Israel on settlements in the absence of the Palestinian side, and called on the US administration to respect the international law and decisions on Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied West Bank including Jerusalem.

Khaled was responding to the US- Israel mutual statement after latest Washington meeting to reach common understandings on West Bank Settlements to be later imposed on the Palestinian side as a de facto baseline to resume what the US administration calls a comprehensive deal to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Khaled added that “Israel’s expressed understanding of Trump’s concerns about settlements as obstacles, without expressing will to freeze settlement activities, even in so called illegal construction, according to Israel, is a further reason to double the Palestinian vigilance against any understandings between the two sides. According to the Israeli sources, Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt, called upon Israel to halt building in random and remote settlement and restrict it to major and Jerusalem settlements, marking a shift in US stance on settlements; from being illegal and obstacle to peace, into being admissible, and ending of which is not a prerequisite to resume negotiations.

Khaled  renewed his call to inspect what is going on in such deliberations, and warned of consequences of US attitudes as a guardian or agent for the Palestinians in claiming their rights and occupied lands. He called the US to respect the decisions of International legitimacy including UNSC 2334 calling for the unconditional discontinuation of settlement building.

“The Palestinian side”, added Khaled, “shall not resume any useless negotiations with Israel, of which the latest would use as a cover to carry on its aggressive settlements activities, and shall not accept negotiations in a regional framework, that could be used by Israel as a platform to normalize relations with region countries before reaching a comprehensive and just resolution of the Palestinian and Arab conflict with Israel, that guarantees full withdrawal of all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967, deliver security and stability for all peoples and states of the region, including the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its capital, and enshrines the right of return for all Palestinian refugees to their homes, of which they had been expelled by aggressive  military force in 1948.