PLO threatens action over continuing Israeli settlements
PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi had a briefing for journalists in the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo, on Beit Jala's land, followed by a field tour to the settlement and the Cremisan Valley, PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department reported Wednesday. The briefing took place one week after Israel announced 942 new units for the illegal settlement of Gilo.
On the occasion, Dr. Ashrawi briefed reporters about the Palestinian position regarding Israeli settlements, particularly on Gilo: "Gilo is an illegal settlement built on Palestinian land by force of occupier's power and not by any legal or political agreement. It is a violation not only of international law and Palestinian rights, but it is also an attempt to destroy the very foundations of peace and prevent the implementation of the two-state solution."
Dr. Ashrawi continued: "Gilo and other settlements are specifically designed to prevent a Palestinian state that is territorially contiguous and that is territorially and economically viable. So all those statements saying that 'everyone knows that the major settlements will stay with Israel' are simply not true. Such statements are designed to deliberately mislead by misrepresenting our negotiation's positions. Our position is based on an international recognition of the 1967 border as the border of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem."
Dr. Ashrawi concluded: "If Israel persists in such policies we will have no other option but to seek recourse to international law and international agencies. In the last meeting of the PLO Executive Committee we decided that if the international community does not stop Israel from pursuing such a policy, we'll have to go to international judicial venues in order to put an end to such Israeli measures that are designed to destroy the chances of peace, and this is perfectly within our rights."