Palestinians slam Israeli land annexation plan

Updated: 2013-12-30 10:39


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RAMALLAH - Israel's attempts to annex parts of the Jordan Valley area in east of the West Bank kill peace process and its goal of two-state solution, a senior Palestinian official said Sunday.

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved Sunday a bill to apply Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the area, which the Palestinians insists its part of their future state.

"We don't recognize this bill and for us it's false," Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Xinhua. "This is a war crime destroying the two-state solution."

Eight ministers on the committee approved the bill and three others opposed it and called for an appeal against it. Justice Ministers Tzipi Livni, who leads peace talks with Palestinians since the United States brokered them in July, was among those opposing the bill.

The Palestinians refuse any Israeli military presence between on their future borders with Jordan, but Israel insists on keeping its control on the border for defense and strategic reasons.

Erekat said the bill deals a blow to the US efforts that push for a just, comprehensive and lasting solution based on the international legitimacy's resolutions.

If Israel goes ahead with the plan to annex the Jordan Valley, says Erekat, the Palestinian leadership should resume bids to join 63 international and UN agencies, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Palestinians halted their drive to become members of international organizations temporarily when negotiations with Israel restarted. In exchange for halting the Palestinian bids, Israel is releasing 104 longtime Palestinian prisoners on phases.