April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday denied reports that Israel was going to hand areas in East Jerusalem to the PNA.

"We don't have any information about these reports and there is nothing on the ground indicating that the PNA" was going to impose its control on Abu Dies town, said Saeb Erekat, the chief peace negotiator.

On Sunday, London's pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that the PNA's forces were preparing to deploy in Abu Dies which is designated as C area under Israeli-Palestinian 1993 Oslo accords. C areas mean that Israel has both security and administrative control on that territory.

Meanwhile, Erekat said Washington must oblige Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and ease movement restrictions so that peace negotiations can resume.

He urged Israel to give a chance for the starting of proximity, indirect negotiations which Washington proposed in February but failed to begin, due to Israeli approvals of more construction in East Jerusalem settlements.

The Palestinians want their future statehood to be established in Gaza and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital. About 60 percent of the West Bank land is classified as C areas.


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