PNA sets hopes on U.S. to stop Israel's settlement expansion

Other News Materials 17 March 2008 04:55 (UTC +04:00)

( Xinhua )- Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has set its hopes on the U.S. administration to force Israel to stop expanding settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, local media reported on Sunday.

In an interview with Voice of Palestine radio, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday that the U.S. administration can obligate Israel in resolving the outstanding issues which prevent the full implementation of the U.S.-backed roadmap plan which envisions a Palestinian statehood alongside Israel.

Erekat mentioned the complicated issues as stopping the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, removing the settlements that were build since 2001, reopening the PNA offices in east Jerusalem, stopping military escalation, releasing prisoners and lifting closure and roadblocks.

"All of these were Israel's obligations under the roadmap and it did not carry out any single article of the requirements," Erekat said.

"For our obligations, we are committed in building the institutions and committed in the security file though I can not say we have completed these issues," Erekat explained.

Israel announced plans to expand more settlements in Jerusalem despite the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The negotiations were resumed in December following the U.S.-hosted peace conference of Annapolis.

The PNA considered the settlement expansion as a clear violation of the roadmap peace plan, saying it added more obstacles to the negotiation process which still marks time.