RAMALLAH, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian officials on Sunday urged the European Union (EU) to quickly activate its decision to impose more restrictions on Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian lands.
The officials warned that postponing or canceling the July directive would undermine peace talks the United States brokered between Israel and the Palestinians later that month.
For the Palestinians, retraction of the decision would frustrate "the hope of making peace based on the two-state solution," said Nabil Shaath, a Central Committee member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
"If Europe doesn't implement what it had decided regarding the settlements, it will be impossible for the negotiations to make any progress," Shaath told Xinhua. "Such retraction would encourage the Israeli government to continue its settlement activities and destroy the two-state solution."
He said the Palestinian leadership was in contact with the EU to verify Israel's reports that John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, pushed the EU to postpone their directive.
The EU's directive bans cooperation with Israel on programs in the fields of economy, education, culture, sport and science if any Israeli settlements are involved.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said that the EU's directive was "positive" and that it helped revive the peace talks with Israel in July after a three-year halt.
"The reports that the EU has come under U.S. pressure shed dangerous doubts regarding Washington's role (as a mediator)," she said in a statement.