Palestinian Authority appeals for international help in ending ‘racist’ settlement expansion

Published April 7th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
File photo shows Israeli settlements deemed 'illegal' in EU statement. (AFP/File)
File photo shows Israeli settlements deemed 'illegal' in EU statement. (AFP/File)

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority said in a statement Thursday that the PA renewed its requests to the international community to immediately intervene and take a stand against settlement expansions carried out by the Israeli government.

Youssef al-Mahmoud slammed "the continuous Israeli settlement offensive" in the midst of attacks and harassment carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, as well as daily raid and detention campaigns carried out by Israeli forces that "continue to aim to displace our people."

"We appeal to the world to intervene and fight back against this offensive," he added.

Al-Mahmoud labeled the Israeli settlement expansion campaign as "recklessness towards the international community," and as displaying "superiority over international laws, the rejection of peace, and the promotion violence."

He added that the PA warns against such "racist" policies and against silence from the international community towards these crimes, which can "only be stopped by serious international intervention."

The statement comes after PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi met with the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Wednesday to discuss Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, notably focusing on the issue of settlements, which are illegal under international law.

"With (Israel's) willful efforts to expand its illegal settlement enterprise at the expense of Palestinian land and resources, Israel is demonstrating its commitment to establishing 'Greater Israel' on historical Palestine," Ashrawi said.

In March, Israel seized hundred of acres of land in the southern occupied West Bank, which Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said would pave the way for the construction of 358 housing units in the illegal settlement of Almog.

Peace Now added that Israel has not confiscated such large swathes of land for the purpose of settlement expansion since the pre-Oslo period in the 1980s, with recent moves indicating a clear change of policy.

The decision drew criticism from the international community, with US State Department spokesperson John Kirby saying Israel's land expropriations, settlement expansions, and the legalization of settlement outposts were "fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution

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