The Palestinian Presidency condemned on Sunday a decision by the Israeli Government approving construction of hundreds of settlements in the West Bank and warned such an escalatory approach would result in undermining the peace process.
The Palestinian Authority rejects the unacceptable Israeli resolution in this regard, said Nabil Abu Rudainah, the spokesman of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement.
Atmosphere to be created as a result of this decision would not be helpful for resolving problems, he stressed.
Peace warrants “brave decisions,” he said, warning that the Israeli settlement approach would “jeorpardize every thing and lead to grave problems.
” He also expressed deep concern at destiny of the (stalled) peace process.
In reprisal to the Itamar attack on an Israeli family of five yesterday, the Israeli government Sunday approved plans to build hundreds of housing units in the settlements of Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Ariel, and Kiryat Sefer.
Maariv paper said the approval came after an emergency meeting last night by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak with a ministerial committee. The decision was clearly stated as a response to the killing of a Jewish family in Itamar in northern West Bank.
According to the paper, the construction plans were approved in a meeting held at Netanyahu’s office in Tel Aviv, which gathered the officials to discuss security issues following the Itamar attack.
The report said Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon, Military Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi, and Internal Security Chief Yuval Diskin and several army officers considered the decision a step in the right direction. They maintain the area is in great need of thousands more housing units.
Dani Dayan, head of Israel’s settler lobby, Yesha, told the paper there was consensus over the need for more construction in the West Bank, and added a new settlement neighborhood must be built and named after the family killed in Itamar.
On a related issue, the paper said Israeli Army figures had expressed concern rightist and extremist settlers would execute reprisal attacks and use excessive force against Palestinians after the slaughter of the Jewish family.