MOSCOW, December 3 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow urges Israel to review its plans to continue settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territories, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
“On November 30, Israel announced plans to build 3,000 new houses in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in East Jerusalem,” and on December 2 it announced that it would suspend the transfer of tax and tariff funds due to the Palestinian Authority, a ministry commentary said.
“These decisions were made right after the voting at the UN General Assembly on November 29, which granted Palestine the status of observer state at the United Nations Organization,” the commentary added.
It expressed Moscow’s serious concerns about Israel’s intentions. “The construction of settlements in Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal, Russia does not recognize it and denounces it like the whole international community,” the commentary emphasized.
“The implementation of new large-scale plans of settlement activity will rather negatively tell on all efforts to resume direct negotiations aimed at a two-state settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the commentary continued.
As for the termination of financial transfers, this step “will further increase the budget deficit of the Palestinian National Authority, will aggravate the already quite difficult social, economic and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories,” it stressed.
With that in view, Moscow urges Israel “to revise the announced plans of settlement construction and continue money transfers to Palestinians, maintaining the possibility to resume the negotiating process and achieve an equitable and lasting peace in the region,” it said.