Israeli soldiers block the way of Palestinians waiting around the Palestinian market in the old town of Hebron in the Israeli occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Image Credit: EPA

Ramallah: The Palestinian leadership on Thursday called on the EU to put pressure on Israel to stop its colony activity in Palestine, in order to save the peace process.

Dr Saeb Erekat, who heads the Palestinian Negotiating Team, was speaking at a meeting held in Jericho with representatives of the EU and the Palestinian Authority.

“The Palestinians urge all the EU members to do whatever it takes and extend their efforts to make Israel stick to halting its colony construction and other activities on Palestinian land, including [Occupied] East Jerusalem, and to stop demolishing houses, forcing Palestinians out of their homes, confiscating the lands, incursions into the Palestinian territories, political assassinations, arrests and the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip,” he said. 

“The continuation of these Israeli practices on the ground and the implementation of extremist policies will surely destroy all the serious attempts to launch a meaningful peace process,” he added, pointing out that the peace negotiations should last no longer than a year.

“A year timeline for the negotiations is enough for reaching a comprehensive peace agreement that includes suitable resolutions for all the core issues including [Occupied]  Jerusalem, borders, colonies, refugees, security, water and prisoners,” Dr Erekat stressed.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) called on the US Administration, the Quartet and the Arab group to exert pressure on Israel to secure a colony freeze, in order to save the entire peace process. It expressed support for US President Barak Obama, his administration and the Quartet members, as well as the efforts of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiating team.

“The Palestinian leadership will be totally involved with the utmost degree of seriousness in the negotiations,” the statement read.

It pointed out that Israel’s proposed security arrangements allow for the continued confiscation of Palestinian land in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank and make the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible.

The rights of the people of Palestine according to Palestinian law should also be made a priority, it said.