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Abbas Tells US Envoy Blockade Must Be Lifted

Al-Manar TV – 18/06/2010

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US special envoy George Mitchell met in Ramallah Friday afternoon and discussed the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting focused on the progress of proximity talks between the two parties. Top PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Abbas requested that Mitchell provide clarifications on reports that Israel plans to build 1,600 housing units in the occupied east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Erekat said Mitchell told Abbas that the US promise to the Palestinians that there would be no further construction in the settlements was still valid.

Erekat added that Abbas demanded that the US Administration work to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and ensure that all the basic needs of the Strip’s population are met. The negotiator said Abbas demanded that the movement of goods between the Strip and the West Bank be permitted, and said the blockade is a form of collective punishment that cannot continue.

He stressed that all six crossings into Gaza should be opened and said reports of easement are not enough and the siege should be completely lifted.

“President Abbas insisted during the meeting on the need for a continuation of US efforts to achieve the complete end of the Gaza blockade,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP following talks in Ramallah, the political capital of the occupied West Bank.

Mitchell met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday and was due in Egypt on Saturday for talks with its leaders.

Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif also made similar statements hours before the Abbas-Mitchell meeting. “Israel must lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip,” he said, stressing that his country has done its part by re-opening the Rafah crossing after three years of closure.

June 18, 2010 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture

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