Israel rejects French calls to freeze settlements
Israel rejects French calls to freeze Jewish settlement activities on the Palestinian lands.
“A solution to the settlements can only be reached through a comprehensive and final peace agreement,” Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP on Thursday.
Palmor instead called on France to persuade the Palestinian Authority to resume the stalled peace talks with Israel.
“In order to promote peace, France would do well to persuade the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations,” he added.
Palestinian say they will not resume the talks until Tel Aviv puts an end to its expansionist policies. Israel has been refusing to heed international calls even form its closest allies including the US to stop its illegal settlement activity.
Israel wants to continue its settlement activity in the occupied West Bank to keep up with what it calls the “natural growth” of the Israeli population. The issue has been widely considered as the main obstacle in the way of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The settlements are built on the land Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which says the occupying power is not allowed to transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory.