Ashrawi condemns Israel’s recent efforts to expand its illegal settlement enterprise across the occupied West Bank

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PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Israel’s recent efforts to expand its illegal settlement enterprise, including the advancement of plans by the Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee for 2,615 units in settlements throughout the occupied West Bank, the start of construction on 1,600 units in the settlement of Giv’at Hamatos, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to allocate funding for settler-only bypass roads connecting the illegal settlements with Israel, and the approval of construction permits for 31 units in the settlement of Beit Romano in Hebron’s Old City:“In blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability, Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism. Israel is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of Jerusalem, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state.

Israel’s settlement activities are illegal and constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a flagrant violation of international law and conventions, including United Nations Security Resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), and 2334 (2016).

We call on governments worldwide to intervene immediately and to hold Israel accountable with serious punitive measures to put an end to its unlawful unilateralism and acts of land theft and colonialism once and for all.

The Palestinian leadership remains committed to seeking justice and protection in all international legal venues for the people of Palestine and to defending their legitimate aspirations for freedom and self-determination.”