Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Israeli construction in West Bank derails peace process - Moscow

Israeli construction in West Bank derails peace process - Moscow

Two Palestinian youths have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry says.

According to the Settlements Regularization Law [click for English translation of the law], West Bank settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land would be "legalized" by de facto expropriating the land, planning the settlements, and retroactively authorizing the housing already constructed on the land. But Palestinian leadership asked the United Nations to take over peace talks after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying the U.S. was too biased.

Losing significant funding from its largest donor, the United States, could be "catastrophic" for Palestinians, said a UN agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

Palestinian officials have refused meetings with any USA political officials, including members of Trump's peace team and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

"The government is attempting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution and the prospects of peace", Peace Now NGO said.

The US President tweeted the warning in an anti-foreign aid tirade on Monday night, writing: 'It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others.

Forty-six Palestinians sustained light and moderate wounds by Israeli army gunfire on Friday during clashes in the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Some half a million Israelis now live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

Tensions in the region had increased since December when US President Donald Trump announced that Washington recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Haley called the resolution "not helpful to the situation". "(Trump) is saying the time has come to stop saying flattering words (to the Palestinians)".

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