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Palestinians condemn Israeli plan to build West Bank settlement units
Monday May 26, 2014 11:09 PM, IANS

The Palestinian presidency Monday condemned the Israeli government for its plan to build 50 housing units in the settlement of Har Homa, near the historic West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israel's settlement activities "are illegal and have to be denounced", Xinhua quoted Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesperson for the Palestinian presidency, as saying.

"The decision is illogical, uncivilised and contradicts with morals," Abu Rdineh said. "It was a response to Pope Francis' stop near the illegal wall in the West Bank for prayers."

The wall, which Israel built on the Palestinian territories, separates the settlement of Har Homa from the city of Bethlehem, which the Pope visited Sunday.

Israel Radio had earlier reported that the Israeli municipal committee for construction in Jerusalem approved the building of the 50 units in Har Homa.

The settlement issue was a major reason for the stalemate in the US-sponsored peace talks, which ended in late April after nine months of negotiation failed to make tangible progress.

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