Russia urges Israel not to build homes on occupied Palestinian lands

Moscow has urged Israel not to build new homes on the occupied Palestinian lands and not to hamper money transfers to Palestinians.

"We call on the Israeli side to change their home construction plans and to continue money transfers to Palestinians, thus preserving an opportunity for the resumption of negotiations and achievement of fair and lasting peace in the region," says a Russian Foreign Ministry commentary published on Monday.

Israel announced plans to build 300 homes on the occupied Palestinian lands, including East Jerusalem, on Nov. 30. It also suspended transfers of tax and customs money to Palestinians on Dec. 2. The decisions were made immediately after the upgrade of the Palestinian status at the UN, the ministry said.

"Moscow is seriously concerned about the Israeli intentions," it said.

"The construction of homes on Palestinian lands, among them East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 is illegal; it is not recognized and condemned by Russia and the whole international community," the commentary runs.

"The fulfillment of new large-scale construction projects will have a negative effect on the efforts to resume direct negotiations, which target inter-state settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the ministry stressed.

The termination of fiscal transfers "will lead to a greater budget deficit of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and complicate the already difficult socioeconomic and humanitarian situation on Palestinian lands," it said.

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