Palestine urges Israel to seize U.S.-backed "renewed opportunity" for peace

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-23 00:42:56|Editor: yan
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JERUSALEM, June 22 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian senior official on Thursday urged Israel to seize the "renewed opportunity" for peace brought by U.S. President Donald Trump's bid to reignite the talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Nabil Shaath, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, read a speech on Abbas' behalf at the annual Herzliya security conference near Tel Aviv.

"We face a renewed opportunity with the support of President Trump," he said, a day after U.S. envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt left the region after meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, without reaching any proclaimed results.

"We seek a just and lasting peace that fully ends the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security," Shaath noted.

"We envision Jerusalem as an open and free city, with East Jerusalem being the sovereign capital of Palestine, and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel," he added.

The Palestinian official also urged Israeli leaders to take actions for peace and security in the region.

"You cannot make peace with tanks and plans. There cannot be peace or security for anyone while one people occupy and control the lives of another," he said.

On Wednesday, the White House sent Kushner and Greenblatt to pursue Trump's hopes for the "ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians.

On the day of their meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas, however, Israel Today daily reported that Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said Netanyahu had ordered the immediate promotion of 7,000 settlement homes in East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, together with the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war. Shortly afterwards, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, claiming it part of its "indivisible capital," a move never recognized internationally.

The latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014, mainly due to the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements.