Netanyahu refuses to freeze settlement activities, Israeli media say
During a recent conversation with a senior Israeli minister, Netanyahu said he had no intention to declare a settlement freeze in the occupied West Bank or release Palestinian prisoners as preconditions for the talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Tel Aviv regime, Ynet reported on Sunday.
“He (Netanyahu) ruled it out, and his only goal is to resume negotiations without preconditions,” Ynet cited the Israeli minister.
According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, more than 4,700 Palestinian prisoners, including about 170 administrative detainees, are currently being held in Israeli prisons.
The administrative detention implemented against the Palestinian population is a sort of imprisonment without trial or a formal charge, allowing Israeli regime forces to make detentions for up to six months. However, the detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.
The Tel Aviv regime continues expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
On June 26, Israel approved final plans to construct nearly 70 new settler units in East al-Quds.
The units will be built in Har Homa, an illegal settlement neighborhood in the southern sector of the city.
The settlements are considered illegal by the international community because the territories were captured by Israel and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied land.
The continued expansion of the Israeli settlements has also created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up his four-day tour of al-Quds (Jerusalem), which aimed to revive the so-called Middle East peace process, without any agreement on resuming the Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Kerry held meetings with Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas and several Israeli officials.
“We started out with very wide gaps, and we have narrowed those considerably,” the US secretary of state said.
The United States, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has supported the Israeli regime on several occasions by vetoing resolutions against Tel Aviv.
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