By Charlie Miller
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy conveyed his “deep regrets” over the Israeli government’s approval of the latest plans for construction in the West Bank in a statement released on Wednesday.
The approved plans, as reported by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, include 20 new settlements in the West Bank, which were approved by the Israeli cabinet on Sunday.
Fahmy noted that the Israeli move “expressed indifference” to the ongoing negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian governments, prompted by repeated visits by United States Secretary of State John Kerry to both states in an attempt to bring them to the negotiating table.
Israel’s policy of changing land rights, the statement continued, would lead to the “elimination of the two state solution and [would] abort the peace process.”
Fahmy called for the Israeli side to provide the “appropriate conditions” to begin the negotiation process; and for an end to the “violation of the rules of international legitimacy.” He urged Israel to take the opportunity provided by the US efforts to reach “a solution to all final status issues,” which he said included a guarantee of the establishment of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as the national capital.
This statement echoed earlier calls by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Israel not to take measures that would prevent “a geographically contiguous Palestine.”