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France's Hollande says ramp-up of Israeli settlements opens way to annexation
February 7, 2017 / 3:35 PM / 6 months ago

France's Hollande says ramp-up of Israeli settlements opens way to annexation

French President Francois Hollande (R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a joint declaration at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, February 7, 2017.Jacky Naegelen

PARIS (Reuters) - The ramp-up of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories opens the way to their annexation, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday.

Israel passed a law on Monday retroactively legalising about 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, a measure that has drawn international concern.

The ramp-up of settlements "would open the way to the annexation of occupied territories", Hollande said at news conference after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"I think that Israel and its government could revise this text," Hollande added.

"This law is contrary to international law," Abbas said. "It's an aggression against our people," he added.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Dominic Evans

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