PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee’s plans to authorize the construction of 1,440 new units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo, 3,000 units in the illegal settlement of Gilo and 2,600 units in the illegal settlement of Givat Hamatos:
“Once again, the Israeli government has proved that it is more committed to land theft and expansionism than to the imperatives of peace and to abiding by international law and the will of the international community; its attempts seek to destroy the rights and the very existence of the Palestinian state.
Clearly, Israel is exploiting the outcome* of the American elections as an opportunity to step up its unilateral actions to complete the isolation of Jerusalem and to escalate its land grab, while fragmenting the West Bank to prevent any territorial and demographic contiguity.”
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi condemned Israeli plans to change the Arabic names of locations in Occupied East Jerusalem to Hebrew: “By changing the original Arabic names of streets, neighborhoods and landmarks to Hebrew, Israel is willfully creating a cultural and historical forgery in Jerusalem, along with its attempts at ethnic cleansing and at generating demographic negative changes.”
“It is time that the U.S., the European Union and all states that claim commitment to the two-state solution adopt concrete steps and measures to prevent the completion of these dangerous plans and to impose sanctions on Israel before it draws the whole region into further violence, extremism and instability,” concluded Dr. Ashrawi.