Erekat: We await Trump's response to Israeli construction

PLO Secretary-General demands a response from President Donald Trump to Israel's "settlement activities".

Elad Benari,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is awaiting a response from U.S. President Donald Trump to Israel’s latest construction approval, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Thursday.

“We’re waiting to hear an official response from the American administration, President Trump’s administration, on the Israeli settlement activities,” Erekat said in a video posted to the PLO’s official Twitter account.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office, claimed Erekat, “thinks that the American silence is a sign that encourages them to add more and more and more to the settlements.”

“We have not received any responses whatsoever, and we’re waiting to hear an official response on the intensification of Israeli illegal settlement activities that are torpedoing and destroying the two-state solution,” he continued.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced the approval of 2,500 housing units in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in order to accommodate the housing needs of the residents and to return their daily routine to normal.

The announcement followed the approval earlier this week of 566 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo, Ramot and Pisgat Ze'ev.

While the United Nations and the European Union were quick to condemn the new construction, White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday declined to express a position on Israeli construction when asked about it in his daily press briefing.

On Wednesday, Erekat said he was "shocked" by the White House's silence on Israel’s construction announcement, and called on Trump's administration to clarify its policy.

Shortly after Israel’s announcement of the construction plans, Erekat called on the international community to punish the Jewish state for the new construction.