Settlement construction in the settlement of Gilo, January 21, 2010. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Erekat: Settlement expansion reflects international failure to stop Israel

PNN/ Ramallah/

PLO Secretary General, Dr. Saeb Erekat on Monday had strongly condemned the decision of the occupation authorities to advance plans to build 770 units in the illegal settlement of Gilo, built on lands of the Palestinian towns and villages of: Beit Jala, Beit Safafa and Wallajeh, between Bethlehem and Occupied East Jerusalem.

“This approval comes as Israel continues the construction of its Annexation Wall in the same area (Cremisan), as part of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the Occupied State of Palestine,” Erekat said.

In an official statement, Erekat said that such a decision further reflects the failure of the international community to stop Israel’s settlement expansion.

“[The decision] comes as Israel receives more assurances that no action will be taken against its illegal policies of colonization and annexation of Occupied Territory, a war crime under International law. Israeli settlement construction in general, and in and around Occupied East Jerusalem in particular, is part of Israel’s political decision to bury the two-state solution by consolidating its illegal occupation and Apartheid regime over the Palestinian people.”

However, Erekat said that this is yet another opportunity for the international community to show its real commitment for the two-state solution and take all needed action in order to have Israel fully cease settlement construction in the Occupied State of Palestine.

“We have asked the State of Egypt and the leaders of Arab countries during our recent visit to call for an urgent meeting of the Arab Quartet in order to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council to halt settlement expansion.” Erekat added.

He concluded that the PA will continue to exert all efforts to confront the Israeli illegal colonization projects with all possible tools towards ending the occupation and establishing our independent sovereign state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.