In response to media inquiries regarding the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s upcoming vote on the so-called “Greater Jerusalem Bill” which would annex 19 illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank to Jerusalem and Israel’s continued expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the moves and said:
“Undoubtedly, Israel is in the business of prolonging the military occupation and not ending it, legalizing the presence of extremist Jewish settlers on Palestinian soil, and completing the total isolation and annexation of Palestinian Jerusalem. Such efforts represent the end of the two-state solution.
It is an irrefutable fact that all settlements are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a direct violation of international law and conventions, including UNSC resolution 2334. With its grand theft of Palestinian land and resources, Israel has created a new prejudicial reality at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian people and their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom.
More than anything else, the failure of governments worldwide to hold Israel accountable has enabled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to intensify their efforts to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine.
Rather than just paying lip service to the two-state solution and denouncing settlement activity, it is incumbent upon each member of the international community to take serious and concrete action and initiate strict sanctions against Israel which should also be held to account by the ICC for its continued war crimes. In addition, we call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to ensure respect for Security Council resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334, and to ensure that Israel adheres to them. Now is the time to uphold the integrity of the global rule of law and to bring the military occupation of Palestine to an immediate end before Israel succeeds in plunging the entire region into a permanent spiral of violence and destruction.”