‘Ending Israeli settlement important step for trust-building’

Ramallah: Ending Israeli settlement in the Palestinian territories, mainly in East Jerusalem, is an important step for trust-building with the Jewish state, a senior official said here.

Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the executive committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told reporters here on Sunday that “the Israeli settlement building and the confiscation of Palestinian land must stop”, reports Xinhua news agency.

He added that trust-building doesn’t only mean easing economic and financial measures for the Palestinians or arranging security coordination between the two sides, but also means changing the Israeli policies.

“We presented to the United States the ideas and steps for trust-building with Israel,” Majdalani said, noting that the ideas were not discussed after the new Israeli government was formed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

On Sunday, the local al-Quds daily reported that in July, the Palestinian side handed US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hadi Amr a document of trust-building measures with Israel.

The newspaper unveiled that the document called for bringing the Palestinian-Israeli relations to pre-2000 and resuming the direct peace negotiations between the two sides, which stopped in 2014.

The document included 30 items related to security, political and economic demands, including freezing settlements, maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque and stopping demolishing Palestinian homes, it said.

The document also called for reducing the Israeli commission on tax revenue dues from 3 to 1 per cent, stopping Israeli deductions on Palestinian funds, and reviewing the Paris Economic Agreement, it added.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media said that the Palestinian document does not talk about a permanent solution to the conflict, while only included demands on resuming the peace talks with Israel under the sponsorship of the US.