The Palestinian Authority on Sunday criticized Israel's decision to approve the construction of 400 housing units in the West Bank's settlement blocs in the aftermath of the massacre in Itamar.
The Authority called on Israel to stop the "crimes perpetrated by the settlers and the IDF."
Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said Israel was taking advantage of Friday night's murder of five members of the Fogel family to "launch an incitement campaign against Palestinian President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and the Palestinian Authority in general."
The spokesman claimed the approval of additional construction in the West Bank was aimed at solving internal Israeli problems. "The incitement and settlement construction policy will not cause the Palestinians to forgo their right to independence and freedom," he said.
Addressing the claims that the PA was inciting against Israel, Assaf said "if the Palestinian leadership exposes the crimes of the occupation and the settlements, then the real question should be why the IDF and the settlers committing these crimes?
"The only way to get out of this cycle of violence is by achieving peace that is based on an end to the Israeli occupation in the territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state," he said.
Assaf also called on the Mideast Quartet and the international community to put an end to the "settler attacks."
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to approve construction in Jewish settlement blocs "wrong and unacceptable," adding that it "only creates more problems."
"Peace demands brave decisions," he added.
Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib said, "We condemn and oppose the settlement policy because it is illegal and violates the rights of the Palestinian people."
Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dmitry Dliani referred to the settlement building as a "massacre of the entire Palestinian nation," adding that it "destroys the remaining hopes for peace."
He said the settlement construction policy was a "political tactic aimed at keeping Israeli extremists quiet."
Meanwhile, Hamas denied any connection to the attack in Itamar, but said Israel may take advantage of the tense atmosphere to launch an "aggressive move" in Gaza.
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