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  04th September 2015    Time 08:46 Jerusalem Israeli Forces Demolish Seven Houses, Agricultural Structures in Ramallah Village      Israeli Forces Target Site in Northern Gaza      Israeli Forces Detain Four Palestinians, Summon Two from Jerusalem, Jenin Districts       Newspaper Review: Easing Open-fire Restrictions for Israeli Soldiers Focus of Dailies      Weather Forecast: Abundantly Sunny, Relatively High Temperatures to Prevail      Solitary Confinement Causes Neurological Disorder to Palestinian Prisoner      Israel Orders Construction of Hebron School to Stop      West Bank Children Start School Homeless as Israel Demolishes 25 Homes       PEX Report: Index Resumes Slight Downtrend      Israeli Authorities Seize Large Tract of Ancient Muslim Cemetery      Update: Israeli Forces Detain 16 Palestinians from West Bank Districts      Newspaper Review: Settlers Takeover of Silwan Building Focus of Dailies      Settlers Damage Power Pole in Qalqilia, Run Over Shepherd, Kill Sheep in Hebron      Weather Forecast: Temperatures Slightly Up       Israel Places 10 Detainees in Jail without Trial
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Ashrawi Urges Belgium to Support Palestines UN Membership

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RAMALLAH, September 5, 2011 (WAFA) - PLO Executive Committee member and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hanan Ashrawi, Monday urged Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme to support Palestines UN membership bid.

Ashrawi met Leterme to discuss Palestinian initiatives at the United Nations this September. The meeting was held in Jerusalem at the request of Leterme, and focused on ways to ensure the success of Palestines bid for UN membership, said a statement by Ashrawis office, which described the discussions as both positive and valuable.

Belgium has always maintained a principled and constructive approach towards peace and Palestinian rights, and we urge the Prime Minister to recognize Palestinian statehood and vote in favor of Palestines membership at the United Nations, said Ashrawi.

The two-state solution is not an open-ended proposition. What we are trying to do is place the pursuit of peace on a firm foundation of international law and multilateralism, and to stop unilateral and prejudicial Israeli measures from destroying what chances exist for peace.

Ashrawi singled out for particular criticism Israels illegal annexation of Jerusalem, increased settlement activity throughout the West Bank, Israels construction of its apartheid Wall, as well as its ongoing siege over Gaza and its fragmentation of the West Bank through hundreds of checkpoints, said the statement.

Discussions also included an assessment of regional developments, particularly the Arab Spring, which promises to reinvigorate the Arab will in support of Palestinian rights and to reconfigure regional as well as global relations and interests.

Prime Minister Leterme stressed the importance of achieving a unified EU position before September, and emphasized his strong support for the ongoing efforts of High Representative Catherine Ashton to achieve a consensus position among EU members. He also indicated his commitment to ongoing dialogue and cooperation with the Palestinians.

In a separate meeting with Senators Marie Arena, Hassan Bousetta and Olga Zrihen, who are also visiting the region from Belgium, Ashrawi thanked the Belgium Senate on behalf of the Palestinian people for its recent resolution in support of Palestinian statehood and for its continued support of Palestinian rights.

Discussing the many ways in which Israels occupation impacts Palestinian life, as well as Palestinian aspirations for freedom and justice, Ashrawi emphasized that Palestinians were well within their rights to approach the UN, and to seek redress through all available legal avenues. For their part, the three senators promised to pursue their efforts to influence official decision making both in Belgium and in Europe, as well as to enhancing ties between Belgium and Palestine.

M.A.

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