Palestinian premier urges halt to Israeli settlements
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called Thursday for a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the Palestinian territories, reported dpa.
An immediate freeze to the building of new settlements was a decisive factor in the search for Mideast peace, he said at a conference on Palestinian security in Berlin.
The Palestinian people needed to taste freedom," he said. "They need to feel tangible improvements in their daily lives," he added, saying the removal of Israeli roadblock in the West Bank as an example would go some way towards this goal.
Fayyad referred to an Israeli military operation in Nablus which claimed the lives of two Palestinians on Tuesday, calling it "an example of activity which has to stop immediately and promptly if we are to provide security to our people."
He said it was the most important task of any state to provide security for its own people.
Foreign ministers from around 20 countries are taking part in the day-long conference, which is intended to help Palestinians prepare for the day they take on responsibility for their own state.
Efforts by the Palestinian Authority to modernize its police force and judicial system are the centre of the gathering, which is expected to raise 183.6 million dollars over the next three years for police training, equipment and judicial projects in the West Bank.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the security situation on the ground "is not good for Israel," but said the Israeli people basically supported the idea of an independent Palestinian state.
"Out neighbour is not a terrorist state, but a responsible partner in the peace process," she said.
"When it comes to law enforcement and judiciary, these are basic requirements for the security of Israel," she said.
"Without an effective police system based on the rule of law, implementation (of a peace agreement) will be very difficult if not impossible," she said.