PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with newly appointed U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Donald Blome at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine.
Dr. Ashrawi provided an assessment of the critical and worsening conditions on the ground and Israel’s continued draconian punitive measures against the Palestinians, including extra-judicial killings, the use of excessive violence and live ammunition, illegal settlement activity in and around Jerusalem, home demolitions, the revocation of Jerusalem IDs, the attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound and its worshipers, and the detention of Palestinian men, women and children.
Dr. Ashrawi stressed the urgent need for an international initiative to end the military occupation and to hold Israel accountable for its impunity and violations.
Both parties reviewed the latest political and regional developments, and Dr. Ashrawi said:
“We, the Palestinian people, are against any kind of terrorism, extremism and the targeting of innocent civilians. We have been committed to a political settlement for a long time, but unfortunately, we have not found any reciprocation. On the contrary, Israel and its extremist Jewish settler population have been given a free hand to commit acts of violence and terror at the expense of the Palestinians, their human rights, land, and resources.”
She called on the U.S. to intervene immediately and to uphold its responsibility to maintain peace and security and to bring Israel to comply with international law, the requirements for peace and signed agreements.
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli plans to escalate its illegal settlement activities in and around Jerusalem, which include plans to build a new settler outpost inside the Old City of Jerusalem in Bab al-Sahera (Herod’s Gate), 436 units in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo, 18 new units in the settlement of Ramot, and 2,200 new units in the settlement of Ma’ale Michmas:
“Once again, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated that he is more committed to stealing more Palestinian land and to superimposing ‘Greater Israel’ on historical Palestine than to supporting a two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability.”