August 11, 2011 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official criticized the United States Wednesday for not taking a firm stance against the Jewish settlement activities in the occupied territories.

The Obama administration's statement that it is concerned by the Israeli activities "is insufficient for anything on the ground, " said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it was "deeply concerned " after Israel announced a new housing project in East Jerusalem, asserting that the settlement construction would thwart efforts to resume the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"This U.S. position is too much less than previous stances," Abed Rabbo said, adding that "this is an evidence that there is no firm policy towards the settlement activities."

The United States' lack of a firm policy "doesn't help resume the talks," Abed Rabbo said.

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations stopped last year, when Israel resumed building Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinians are scheduled to ask the United Nations General Assembly for a recognition of a Palestinian state next month despite the U.S. and Israeli objection.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017