The Palestinian Authority called on the international community to recognize a Palestinian state with the capital in East Jerusalem after Israel announced new settlement construction plans in the occupied West Bank.
"It's time to make necessary decisions. It is becoming unacceptable for Palestinians to stare blankly at Israel's activities, which perpetuate the occupation on our land," Saeb Erekat said in a statement on Tuesday. "This latest unilateral Israeli act necessitates dramatic international action for immediate recognition of the Palestinian State on the June 4, 1967 borders."
Israel announced on Monday its plans to build 1,300 new houses for Jewish families in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state. On Tuesday, the Israeli government said other 800 houses would be built in Ariel, the fourth largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
The Palestinians have warned that if settlement construction in the West Bank continues, they will ask the international community to recognize a Palestinian state on the borders that existed before the six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967.
The move comes as direct peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, have been under threat over the settlement issue, with the Palestinians threatening to withdraw from negotiations if construction in the West Bank continues.
U.S. President Barak Obama, speaking during a visit to Indonesia on Tuesday criticized the Israeli decision, which was announced during Netanyahu's visit to the United States, just hours after his meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden in New Orleans.
"I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine," he said.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who met with Netanyahu in New York late Monday, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also condemned the move.
GAZA, November 10 (RIA Novosti)