Palestinians: No compromise on settlements
The Palestinians will oppose any understanding between Israel and the United States that would allow even limited settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, a senior Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Ariqat, stated on Sunday. "There are no middle-ground solutions for the settlement issue: either settlement activity stops or it doesn't stop," Ariqat told Voice of Palestine radio.
According to him, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas conveyed this message in a letter he sent on Saturday to U.S. President Barack Obama.
According to Reuters, this came following an Israeli press report that Israel and the United States were to agree on some building activity in existing settlements.
"If settlement continues Israel will be allowed to build one thousand units here and two thousand units there, which will lead Arabs and Palestinians to believe that the American administration is incapable of swaying Israel to halt its settlement activities," Ariqat told the radio. "The message is clear: settlements should stop immediately."