Ultra-Orthodox Israelis in the 'settlement' of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem, 27 December 2013, overlooking the Palestinian Arab neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, A-Ram, and Ramallah. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

Israel announces 82 new settlement units in Jerusalem amid escalating anger

PNN/ Jerusalem/

On Tuesday, Israeli Occupation Authorities announced plans to construct 82 units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo and to build an illegal settlement outpost of 15,000 units in the Qalandia Airport area north of Jerusalem.

The announcement comes a few days following the Paris Peace Summit, in the presence of 29 countries from four different continents around the world, in addition to the United Nations, European Union and the Arab League.

PLO Secretary General, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that this is “Israel’s response to the summit, as it continues to boycott the will of the world with its insistence on the illegal colonial settlement expansion in Occupied Palestine.

“This is an insult to the credibility of the international community and its efforts to achieve peace and security for Palestinians, Israelis, and the entire Middle East,” Erekat said in an official statement.

Erekat said that this approval of settlement construction in defiance of International law and UN resolutions serves as yet another reminder to the international community to hold Israel liable for the crimes it continues to commit against the land and people of Palestine.

“Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes and livelihoods, to expand its illegal settlement enterprise, necessitates decisive actions to bring about an end to Israel’s rejectionism and violence. It is no longer acceptable for world leaders, particularly the European Union, to pay a lip-service to the two-states solution while providing Israel with assurances that their impunity will continue to grow.”

To her part, PLO Executive Committee Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi has denounced the act, saying that “once again, Israel is spreading outright lies and falsehoods to mask its true intentions of isolating Jerusalem from its Palestinian environs and ethnically cleansing the occupied city of its indigenous population.”

“With the escalation of the illegal settlement enterprise, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sending a clear message to the international community that the Israeli government is interested only in expansionism, control and pandering to the extremist and racist settler population,” she added.

Ashrawi concluded by calling  on the international community to intervene immediately and to exhibit the political will necessary to make Israel cease and desist its flagrant violations of international law and consensus “once and for all.”