On Thursday night, the government announced it had approved the building of 238 homes in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, ending a nearly yearlong, unofficial freeze on new building there.
During a meeting with diplomats, Erekat demanded that the US and EU increase pressure on Israel and deem the state responsible for the collapse of peace talks.
The new construction “proves the Israelis have chosen the path of the settlements and not of negotiations, and this will lead to a dead end”, he said.
In addition to the construction, Erekat accused Israel of creating “an atmosphere not conducive to peace talks”, citing “the recent targeted killings, raids on Palestinian towns, and arrests”.
Egypt’s foreign minister said Arab nations may seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state if Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit said an Arab League request to the UN may come next month.”If Israel does not respect the settlements freeze,” Gheit said, “the Arab League will study some other option aside from the peace process such as going to the United Nations and ask for the recognition of the Palestinian state.”