HANAN ASHRAWI, member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s Executive Committee, has condemned the US top diplomat’s visit to an Israeli colonial settlement in the West Bank as an endorsement of land theft and plunder.
‘The visit of US Secretary of State Pompeo to the occupied West Bank is a last ditch effort by the outgoing US administration to entrench its pattern of criminality, illegality, and direct complicity in the colonisation of Palestine and dispossession of our people,’ Ashrawi said in a press statement.
‘It is also a cynical exploitation by Pompeo to advance his own personal political goals as the new face of far right ideologues in the US,’ she added.
Ashrawi noted that products made in the Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied territories violate international law and amounts to recognition of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.
‘Labelling products made inside illegal Israeli settlements as ‘‘made in Israel’’ or ‘‘products of Israel’’ is an outrageous and illegal policy tantamount to de facto recognition of Israel’s annexation of most of the West Bank,’ she said.
‘It is an attempt to legitimise the theft of Palestinian land and plunder of Palestinian resources that runs counter fundamental principles of international law and the global consensus,’ she added.
‘Further, Pompeo’s pronouncement of hostility against states and international organisations that properly label Israeli settlement products is an affront to the international community’s obligations under the law, including UN Security Council resolution 2334. These products are a product of theft. They must be boycotted, not supported.’
The PLO official also criticised the current US administration’s willingness to provide separate designations of products coming from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, revealing that it is part of the administration’s plan to further divide the Palestinian people.
‘Adding insult to injury, Pompeo also announced the decoupling of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Labelling Palestinian products from the West Bank and Gaza as separate entities.
‘This is one more measure affirming that the Trump agenda was always the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people and their permanent subjugation to Israel’s illegal control. It is also in line with this administration’s agenda to keep Palestinians divided and maintain the internal rift,’ she said.
She also criticised the current US administration for extorting countries into accepting the Israeli violations of international law.
‘This outgoing US administration has expended so much effort on normalising egregious Israeli violations of international law, fighting the most basic rights of the Palestinian people, as well as bullying and extorting countries into accepting these crimes. These pronouncements are an extension of this hostility and complicity.’
‘Such malicious measures are intended to corner the incoming US administration with layers of legal and administrative measures that maintain the destructive Trump legacy beyond his disruptive term. Outrageous as they are, these policies have very real consequences on Palestinian lives and rights that must be undone.’
She called upon the world to ‘recover’ from the chaos Trump has inflicted.
‘The entire world needs to recover from the Trump legacy and the chaos it has created. The Palestinian leadership looks forward to working with responsible states on forging a new path to justice and peace based on mutual respect and commitment to the rule of law,’ she concluded.
- The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad al-Malki has praised the overwhelming vote by the United Nations General Assembly in favour of two draft resolutions that affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to sovereignty over their land.
In a press statement, al-Malki welcomed a vote at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in which an overwhelming majority of the world countries voiced support for a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The draft resolution was passed last Thursday evening by 163 votes in favour, 5 against and 10 abstentions.
The Foreign Minister expressed his thanks to the countries that voted in favour of the resolution, calling on the world to unite in finding practical mechanisms to implement the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including offering support for President Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative to hold an international peace conference.
He stressed that the overwhelming vote in favour of the resolution was a natural response from the international community to the Israeli occupation’s violations, as well as a response to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the colonial Israeli settlements.
In this regard, al-Maliki called on the member states of the United Nations to shoulder their responsibilities to protect the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to take practical measures in the face of the Israeli occupation and the ‘rogue’ states that encourage the Israeli violations and crimes, such as the current US administration.
He stressed that Palestinian diplomacy will foil all attempts to undermine the rights of our people to independence and the establishment of the independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees to their homes.
Al-Malki also praised the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee for overwhelmingly approving a draft resolution that called on nations to ensure that they do not treat settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem as a part of Israel
- Syria has condemned in the strongest terms the US Secretary of State’s visit to the Israeli settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan, considering the step as a flagrant violation of its sovereignty.
‘The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Israeli settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan in a provocative step prior to the end of Trump’s administration and at a time when the Israeli occupation authorities launch repeated aggressions on Syria, the latest of which was on November 17th,’ An official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Thursday.
The source added that Syria affirms that such criminal visits encourage ‘Israel’ to continue its dangerous aggressive method that would not have taken place without the unlimited and continued support provided, in particular, by the US administration and the immunity from accountability provided and imposed by these countries.
It stressed that Syria calls on the UN and the International Community to condemn that visit which violates the UN resolutions, including the UN Security Council resolution no 497.
The source concluded that Syria calls once again on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities in the framework of the UN Charter to oblige ‘Israel’ to stop its flagrant violations of the UN Charter and the provisions of the International Law and respect for international legitimacy resolutions, particularly UN Security Council Resolutions no. 242, 338, 350 and 497 which all call for the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan until the line of June 4th, 1967.
- Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, affirmed last Thursday that the destructive tricks practised by the US in an attempt to obstruct the International conference on the return of Syrian refugees, which was held in Damascus last week, were doomed to failure.
In a weekly media briefing, Zakharova indicated that Washington, and behind it the European Union, exercised various forms of pressure on countries probably to participate in the conference as well as the various international organisations with the aim of preventing them from attending.
She was astonished all those attempts to hinder the convening of the conference and the Western hysteria that preceded and followed the holding of this human event.
Zakharova described the American criticism to the conference that was held on November 11th and 12th as ‘a continuation of the policy adopted Washington in the process of hindering the return of Syrian refugees to their country’.