France calls for halt to Israeli settlements

French President Francois Hollande (L) meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Nov. 18, 2013 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP)

French President Francois Hollande on Monday called for a complete halt to Israeli settlement activities on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

“France demands a full and complete halt to settlement activity,” he said at a joint news conference in Ramallah with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has announced plans for thousands of new settler homes since U.S.-brokered peace negotiations with the Palestinians began in July after a three-year break, reported Reuters.

Palestinian negotiators have offered to resign in protest against the settlement drive. However, Abbas reaffirmed at the news conference the talks with Israel would continue for the full nine-month period agreed with the United States.

More than 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem along with 2.5 million Palestinians.

Most countries consider the settlements Israel has built on land it captured in the 1967 Middle East war as illegal.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42