Palestinians condemn Israel's plan to build 4,000 units in East Jerusalem

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/7 8:33:47

The Palestinians condemned on Wednesday Israel's approval of a plan to build 4,000 settlement units in East Jerusalem, arguing that Israel's settlements escalation undermines the two-state solution.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told Xinhua that the plan represents a continuation of Israel's escalation of its settlement activities to destroy any chances of implementing a two-state solution.

He accused the Israeli government of "trying to escalate settlements both in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to completely eliminate the vision of a two-state solution and any chances of establishing a contiguous and sovereign Palestinian state."

Majdalani said Israel is using its current policies regarding the escalation of settlement position of the US Administration, which has so far refrained from declaring a clear position against settlement.

The Israeli Planning and Construction Council in Jerusalem approved on Tuesday a plan to build 4,000 settlement units on the surrounding hills in the eastern part of Jerusalem, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on its website on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, the construction plan will cover an area of 600 hectares, and Israel considers construction in the target area "necessary because of the lack of building land in Jerusalem."

Nabil Shaath described the plan as "a major war crime and a dedication to the colonial settlement project."

Shaath told Xinhua that Israel's escalation of settlement "represents the utmost disregard for international legitimacy and all international positions and resolutions calling for the resumption of the peace process and against settlement."

He stressed that the continued Palestinian anti-settlement movement at all levels, including the United Nations and its institutions, as well as the International Criminal Court.

According to the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Israel has submitted at least 56 plans to build 4,909 settlement units between January and August of this year, representing a sharp 85-percent increase compared to all settlement units approved during 2016.

"There's a decision of the Israeli Ministry of Justice to establish the ownership of hundreds of acres of agricultural on behalf of a company belonging to Israeli settlers in the south of the province," the Palestinian National Authority said Tuesday.

According to the authority, the decision aimed at fixing the ownership of 876 donums (87.6 hectares) of agricultural land in the area near the settlement of Etzion, south of Bethlehem, on behalf of the settlement company (Asayneh), despite the existence of a dispute between the Palestinian and Israeli sides for 18 years.

For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the escalation of Israel's settlement plans, statements, positions and calls by Israel's ruling right wing, which "incites on settlement expansion and displacing Palestinians from their homeland by all means."

The ministry said in an official statement that the escalation of settlements "is a shameless challenge to all efforts exerted to revive the peace process and another attempt to thwart the serious American move to resume negotiations."

It said "the figures of the ruling right-wing in Israel prove day after day that their colonial plans and their expansionist settlement strategy has no boundaries or controls and is completely out of any laws and agreements signed."

On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that Israeli settlements pose a "great danger" to the future of the political process.

Abbas stated during his meeting in Ramallah with head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, that Israeli settlement "is contrary to international law and all resolutions of international legitimacy."

Israeli settlement is the most important file in the disputes between the Palestinians and Israel in light of the cessation of peace negotiations between them since the end of March 2014 after nine months of talks sponsored by the United States without progress.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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