Palestine asks US to pressure Israel over settlements

Palestine asks US to pressure Israel over settlements

DUBAI - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met Monday the U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt in West Bank city Ramallah, urging the U.S. to pressure Israel over settlements.

According to a statement by the PM's office, the meeting tacked the issue of the national reconciliation as well and the latest efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to revive the peace process between Palestine and Israel.

Hamdallah stressed that the main obstacle in the path of the peace process is the Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, which he described as destructive to the two state solution and the establishment of a geographically continuous Palestinian state.

He urged the U.S. administration to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinian government to work freely in the territories classified as Area C in the West Bank and stop settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

Under the interim Oslo Accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel in 1993, the West Bank is divided into three zones: A, B and C, with area A under Palestinian control, B under Israeli security coordination and Palestinian administrative control, and C under full Israeli control.

The Israeli settlement construction is one of the top and most complicated issues in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

The peace talks between Palestine and Israel have been stalled since April 2014. The U.S.-sponsored talks that lasted for nine months achieved no tangible results.