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Fatah slams Netanyahu 'unacceptable interference'

Fatah says Israel must respect will of Palestinian people, slams Netanyahu's comments as 'unacceptable' meddling in Palestinian affairs

AFP , Tuesday 3 May 2011

Palestinian group Fatah on Tuesday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to "completely cancel" a reconciliation deal with Hamas as "unacceptable interference."

Netanyahu "must respect the will of the Palestinian people and stop the unacceptable interference in internal Palestinian affairs," said Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the Fatah delegation in Cairo.

Palestinian factions, including Fatah and rivals Hamas, signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo earlier which will pave the way for elections within a year.

"The Palestinian people and its leaders were and are still ready for peace. Israel must stop putting obstacles on the path to peace, particularly the building of settlements," he said.

Israel considers Jerusalem to be its "eternal, indivisible" capital, and does not view construction in the east to be settlement activity.

The Palestinians, however, want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state and are fiercely opposed to the extension of Israeli control over the sector.

Israel and the Palestinians relaunched peace talks in September only to see them grind to a halt three weeks later over Israeli refusal to renew a freez on settlement construction in the West Bank.

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