Palestinian protesters run to evade tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers following a protest against the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, on Dec. 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Ayman Nobani)

Palestine calls Israeli settlement activity “blatant challenge to int’l will for peace”

RAMALLAH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) —

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that escalating Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories poses “a blatant challenge to the international will for peace.”

The Israeli continuation of settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories “is a public disregard to the world’s states and their positions that condemn settlement,” the ministry said in a press statement sent to Xinhua.

“Such a situation urges the international community to take a serious pause to force the occupying state to retreat from implementing its plans which contradict international law and resolutions,” it added.

The ministry also warned of Israel’s settlement plans in Jerusalem, noting the plans aim at annexing the entire city and shutting the window of any opportunity of establishing a viable Palestinian state.

The Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, to be the capital of their future independent state, while Israelis insist that Jerusalem is the undivided eternal capital of Israel.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli media reported that the Israeli District Planning and Building Committee announced a plan to build 9,000 housing units in the Israeli settlement of Atarot in East Jerusalem.

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