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Israeli land seizure in West Bank ‘not positive’: Egyptian foreign ministry

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Egyptian foreign ministry views Israel land seizure as hindrance to peace talks

The Egyptian foreign ministry condemned on Monday “the news circulating about the intention of the Israeli authorities” to seize vast areas of Palestinian land in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

The ministry said in a statement that it considered the move as “not positive”, pointing out that it contradicts international law.

“It represents a significant obstacle for efforts to reach a final settlement of the two-state solution agreed upon by the international community and the decisions of the international Quartet,” said the statement.

Israel announced on Sunday its decision to seize approximately 1000 acres in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem less than a week after Egypt brokered an indefinite ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian factions.

The US also condemned the decision, calling it “counterproductive” to peace efforts, and asked the Israeli government to reverse the decision.

Israel and Palestine had just reached an open-ended ceasefire on 27 August after 50 days of conflict. The agreement was brokered in Egypt with hopes of achieving lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

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