PLO to appeal to UN over Israeli settlements

Published June 5th, 2014 - 01:07 GMT

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will appeal to the UN Security Council against Israel’s recent plans to construct 1,500 more settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories, a senior official says.

Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on Thursday that the “executive committee of the PLO views this latest escalation [in the number of Israel's illegal units] with utmost seriousness."

It came after Israel’s Housing Ministry revealed plans of new tenders for illegal settler units in a number of Zionist settlements on Palestinian lands. Some 400 of the new units will be constructed in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and around 1,100 other units in the West Bank.

Israel claims the settlements are a response to the formation of a Palestinian unity government.

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel has said the recent settlement plans “are just the beginning.”

The PLO "will counter it by addressing both the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly as the proper way of curbing this grave violation and ensuring accountability," Ashrawi also said.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat also said it is “time to hold Israel accountable ... before international organizations."

Palestinians have now the option to take legal action against Israeli settlements at the International Criminal Court in the Hague after they won the observer-state status at the United Nations in 2012.

They, however, agreed not to take such actions during the fresh round of talks with Israel, which ended earlier this year.

"Those who fear the international courts should stop their war crimes against the Palestinian people, first and foremost of which is settlement activity," Erakat added.

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