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    Arab League approves plan to "save" Jerusalem from Israel

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    Arab leaders have adopted a series of political and legal measures to confront Israel's settlement policy in annexed east Jerusalem.

    Arab leaders have adopted a series of political and legal measures to confront Israel's settlement policy in annexed east Jerusalem.

    Fourteen heads-of-state from the 22-member Arab League gathered on March 27-28 in Sirte in central Libya to discuss the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    The plan of action "includes political and legal measures to confront Israel's attempts to Judaise Jerusalem and the repeated aggression on its holy sites," the leaders said in a final resolution adopted on Sunday.

    Arab leaders also pledged to raise $500 million fund to help bolster the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and to prevent an artificial change in the demographic situation in this city in favor of Israelis.

    The fund will be used, in particular, to improve infrastructure, build water wells, hospitals and schools as well as to provide financial compensation to Palestinians evicted from their homes by Israeli authorities.

    Arab leaders called Israel's settlement policy "a dangerous obstacle to a just and comprehensive peace process," and ruled out renewed Middle East peace talks unless Israel halts all settlement building.

    "The resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations demands that Israel implements its legal commitments by stopping all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem," they said.

    Settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, has been the main obstacle to reviving peace talks.

    Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001 from Palestinian territories.

    Middle East peace efforts stalled again in early March after Israel announced that it had given the go-ahead to the building of 1,600 housing units for Jewish families in the disputed area of East Jerusalem.

    CAIRO, March 29 (RIA Novosti)

     

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