By Chris Carlson
International Middle East Media Center: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the construction of settlements will continue, regardless of warnings that peace negotiations with the Palestinians could suffer a breakdown, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) has reported.
“We will not stop, even for a moment, building our country and becoming stronger, and developing… the settlement enterprise”, Netanyahu stated, during an interview on Wednesday.
Al Arabiya News reports that Xavier Abu Eid, advisor at the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has said that the move shows a “lack of seriousness on the Israeli side”, regarding the peace process.
Since negotiations began, Israel has announced plans to build some 5,992 new housing units.
“Israel’s actions should make the international world, especially the U.S. and European Union, who have been especially active, to hold Israel accountable for their actions. Just because Palestine is committed to the process doesn’t mean the international community should stop committing to their own obligations of holding Israeli accountable for its war crimes,” Abu Eid further stated.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian Presidential Spokesman, says that Israel’s aim is to escalate the violence, in order to hinder US peace efforts, thus bringing the talks to an end.
This does not mean that negotiations are over with. As Abu Eid stated, “The peace process doesn’t have to end. We have committed for nine months to peace talks, and Palestine will remain committed for those nine months. And, we expect, we hope, that something can be done over the few months left.”