- Published on Monday, 30 April 2012 10:41
Oman Observer: by Hasan Kamoonpuri
A city-based expert on Palestine has condemned a recent Israeli book that considers West Bank part of Israel and incites violence against Palestinians by instructing Israelis to carry weapons inside Palestinian territories. Hisham Wasef, a high-ranking official in the Media and Culture Department of the Palestinian embassy here said “Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat, has also condemned this book, saying Israel is telling the illegal settlers to carry weapons when trailing in West Bank near Palestinian villages”. “This is an outrageous case of incitement to violence against Palestinians that reflects Israel’s official policy and mindset. It should be of grave concern to the international community”, he quoted Dr Erekat as saying.
“By issuing a book on trails in Israel that includes at least 50 sites in Palestinian territories, Israel exposes its true agenda; nothing but abject disregard to international law”, he added. The book also falsifies the names of Palestinian villages and areas by giving them Israeli names. “Israel, which issued this book, wilfully falsified the identity of Palestinian sites. This is both objectionable and unacceptable”, said Dr Erekat, adding, “Israel is intent on taking over more and more Palestinian territories rather than reaching a comprehensive and just agreement to the conflict. Actions are much louder than rhetoric and Israel has shown the international community, through action, just how hostile its policies are to the prospects of peace”.
According to reports, the book in question recommends several dozen sites in the Palestinian Territories, including one near the illegal settlement of Migron. Meanwhile, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon recently criticised the Israeli regime for legalising the status of three illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. "All settlement activity is illegal under international law," said Ban, adding that he was "deeply troubled" by Tel Aviv's unlawful move.
Ban Ki-Moon made the remarks after the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the legalization of the outposts of Bruchin and Rechelim in northern West Bank and Sansana in the southern part of the occupied Palestinian territory. Ban noted that the regime has an international obligation to refrain from "provocations" like constructing new illegal settlements in the occupied lands. "Every single settlement built on Palestinian land is illegal," Palestinian Dr Erekat said. Around 350 Israeli settlers currently live in Bruchin, while some 240 settlers live in Rechelim. Nearly 240 more settlers reside in Sansana, which is located near the city of Al-Khalil.
The international community regards all the Israeli settlements across the West Bank as illegal under international law, whether authorized by the Tel Aviv regime or not. On February 22, Israel approved the construction of 500 new illegal units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, also legalizing more than 200 homes built in the West Bank without primary permits from Tel Aviv. About 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem-al-Quds as the number of settlers continues to climb. In his recent three-day visit to Tunisia, President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that Tunisia is standing by Palestine in facing the injustice and tyranny of Israel because ending occupation is also a Tunisian priority.
Israel has taken a step toward expanding the largest settlement in the Golan Heights since the start of the occupation. Since 1967, Israel has accomplished its main expansionist aims, by occupying the water-and-agriculture-rich Syrian Golan heights territory and constructing settlements for the benefit of 80 000 Israeli settlers in the occupied Golan Heights. Experts say that a week after the war ended, Israel started a systematic destruction of Syrian villages including places of worship and graveyards in an attempt to erase their Arab Syrian origins and to construct Israeli settlements on the sites which had been destroyed.
People in Golan Heights have been urging the international community intervention to protect their homes and villages which are currently used as training grounds for the Israeli occupation army. Wasef says the issue of more than six thousand Palestinians in Israeli jails in most inhuman conditions is also an important concern of the world. Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza Strip recently held a rally to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Around 1200 of them have been on an open-ended hunger strike since mid-April to protest their detention conditions. Many of the Palestinian prisoners have been kept in Israel’s prisons for years without charge or trial as Israel’s administrative detention allows its forces to hold prisoners indefinitely without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.
As the number of prisoners who have joined in the hunger strike has increased, the Israeli Prison Service has escalated its retributions of prisoners on hunger strike through various methods such as attacks on prisoners’ sections; confiscation of personal belongings; transfers from one prison to another, fines, placement in solitary confinement; and denial of family and lawyer visits. Israel and its supporters, particularly the UK, which reaps maximum economic gains in the Arab world, want maintain the status quo and do not want any coverage of Palestinian plight, stress experts. The international community in general and the Arabs and Muslims and all peace-loving people must act to put an end to this historic injustice so that Palestinian prisoners are released and more than six million Palestinian refugees return to their homeland.