FM: Settlement-building in East Jerusalem hinders peace efforts

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Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul-Gheit said on Tuesday December 29 that Israel's announcement to build new settlements in East Jerusalem hampers efforts exerted to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He added that the decision cast doubt on Israel's willingness to reach a permanent solution based on the two-state formula.

Abul-Gheit said: "Israel's decision to build new settlements in East Jerusalem thwarts attempts made to resume negotiations leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital."

"Israel's attitude" he further noted "casts doubt on its seriousness to reach a final settlement. The announcement furthermore reflects a weak resolve on Israel's part to achieve a just and durable peace and indicates an inclination to circumvent peace obligations."