World\Middle East

Abbas says Israeli bill 'major setback' to peacemaking efforts

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-08 21:05

RAMALLAH - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the recent Israeli bill on settlements in the West Bank is "a major setback" to peacemaking efforts.

Abbas said in a letter to the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini that "the decision taken by the Israeli government is a major setback to peacemaking efforts and will undermine the two-state solution, which will have implications on the region and the world in general."

He expressed hope in working together with the EU "for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2334 in order to maintain the potential for just and comprehensive peace."

Mogherini had warned in an emailed press statement that if this new Israeli law was to be implemented, it would cross a dangerous threshold, adding that "such settlements constitute an obstacle to peace."

"It would further entrench the one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict," she added, highlighting the EU's position towards settlements in the West Bank deeming them illegal.

On Monday night, the Israeli parliament voted in favor of legalizing nearly 4,000 Jewish settlements that will be built on Palestinian-owned lands in the West Bank.

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