Condemning Israeli seizure of vast Palestinian land not enough: Barghouthi

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Washington and the United Nations on Wednesday have condemned the Israeli decision to confiscate 1,540 Dunams (380 acres), of land near Jericho in the Jordan Valleys.

The condemnations came after the Israeli ministry of army on Thursday confirmed that “the lands are in the final stages of being declared state lands.”

According to Reuters, the United States, whose ambassador angered Israel this week with criticism of its West Bank policy, said late on Wednesday it was strongly opposed to any move that accelerates settlement expansion.

“We believe they’re fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question, frankly, the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution,” Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concerns, since this seizure being the largest appropriation in the West Bank since August 2014.

“Settlement activities are a violation of international law and run counter to the public pronouncements of the government of Israel supporting a two-state solution to the conflict,” Ban said in a statement.

Secretary General of the Palestine National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi said that the verbal condemnations of Israel confiscating more than 1,500 dunams of land do not change anything on the ground.

In a telephone call with PNN, Barghouthi demanded punitive measures to be taken against the seizure, in order to halt the continuous Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian land and displacing Palestinian families from their homes.