PNA warns settlement activities undermine two-state solution

By Xinhua,

Ramallah : Palestinian National Authority (PNA)warned on Saturday the construction of Israeli settlements undermines the two-state solution, his warning came on the eve of the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s arrival to the region.

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“The continuation of settlements, land confiscation and keeping on expansions and annexations undermines the principle of two” Israeli and Palestinian statehoods, said negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio that Rice is due to visit Israel in the day and she is also scheduled to visit West Bank on Sunday to hold talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The two-day visit aims at giving another push to the peace talks between the two sides amid American skepticism that the negotiations, launched at a U.S.-hosted conference last November, would not succeed to achieve framework agreement for two states this year.

For the Palestinians, the expansion of the Israeli settlement blocs inside what will be part of their future statehood, West Bank and East Jerusalem, frustrates the progress of the peace talks.

But Erekat said that the peace deal could be brokered this year “if Israel responded to international calls for stopping the settlements.”

Earlier last month, Israeli media reported that Israel planned to build about 1,900 new apartments in several settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2008.