France condemns east Jerusalem hotel demolition

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France on Monday condemned Israel's demolition of an east Jerusalem hotel complex to make way for Jewish settler homes, saying it would undermine the peace process with the Palestinians.

"The settlements, including those in east Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

"It is therefore imperative in this respect that the parties abstain from any provocation," he said.

Palestinians have reacted furiously to the demolition of part of the Hotel Shepherd, which sits on a plot in annexed east Jerusalem where developers plan to build a complex of 20 luxury apartments for Jewish settlers.

US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since late September, when an Israeli freeze on the construction of Jewish settlements expired.

© 2011 AFP

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