Russia and France slam Israel’s settlement expansion in Old Jerusalem 18Nov11 November 18, 2011

The Palestinian Information Centre  -  17 November 2011

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Russia and France denounced Israel’s declared intention to build 800 settlement units in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

The Russian ministry of foreign affairs said in a press release on Wednesday the announcement of new settlement construction tenders raised its deep concern over the future of the peace process in the middle east.

“Russia reiterated repeatedly its position on this issue, that every construction in the occupied Palestinian lands including east Jerusalem violates the recognized rules of the international law and thus must be stopped,” the Russian foreign ministry underlined.

For its part, the French state department on Monday had described Israel’s settlement plan as further provocation.

“France condemns the unacceptable decision and recalls that settlement, both in the West Bank and east Jerusalem is illegal,” spokesman for the French state department Bernard Valero said.

Valero noted that Israel moves to build more houses represent “an additional provocation” at a time international community is working to relaunch deadlocked negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli officials.

“Besides being illegal, the continuation of settlement will take away prospects of making Jerusalem the capital of two states which is necessary to reach peace agreement,” Valero said in an electronic press statement.

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