Israeli construction in West Bank derails peace process - Moscow

Israeli construction in West Bank derails peace process - Moscow

Israeli construction in West Bank derails peace process - Moscow

Almost 300 Palestinians were injured Friday in a new wave of clashes with Israeli police on the Gaza Strip border and in the occupied West bank, a spokeswoman for the local health charity said.

In the West Bank, five people were wounded by rubber bullets in clashes with the Israel Defense Forces.

Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.

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A further 2,500 settlement units are in the advanced planning stage, with authorities publishing tenders for 800 of them yesterday.

The paper, citing Palestinian officials, said that while Trump's peace envoys have been shunned by the PA, diplomatic channels remain open, and were never severed.

"Along with this, it is also evident that Israel's ongoing settlement activity derails prospects for the two states' solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and diminishes chances for achieving a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East", the statement reads.

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Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israeli forces, while three others were injured during clashes on Friday in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

Hagit Ofran, a Peace Now spokeswoman, said the new round of construction approvals was "not a dramatic change" from last year's pace, when Israel gave the go-ahead for 6,742 housing projects in the West Bank - a figure described by Peace Now as the highest since 2013.

Trump's decision on Jerusalem and announcement in December that the United States would start the process of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv enraged the Palestinians who said the United States can no longer broker peace with Israel. Besides, Israel has approved additional housing units in the Ariel and Alfei Menashe settlements in the northern West Bank.

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A committee of ministers from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Palestine met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi to strategize a response to President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

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