HANAN ASHRAWI, a Member of the PLO Executive Committee, has strongly condemned the so-called Israeli Civil Administration’s decision to grant the approval for the establishment of 1,451 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and to advance plans for the construction of 837 additional units.
‘Today’s announcement once again proves that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing and racist coalition government are pursuing systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing to appease the violent and extremist settler population and to win votes ahead of Israel’s upcoming elections in April,’ she said in a press release.
Ashrawi added that the ‘deafening silence from the international community and the current US administration’s unyielding support of the military occupation have enabled the Israeli government to expand its illegal settlement enterprise. ‘This constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a direct violation of international law and conventions, including UNSC resolution 2334.’
She appealed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres to ‘ensure compliance with Security Council resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334, and to make certain that Israel complies with them before the chances for a just peace and stability in the region and beyond are destroyed.
‘The enormity and severity of the situation and Israel’s deliberate efforts to displace Palestine and replace it with “Greater Israel’’ should send a strong message to governments worldwide that they need to intervene immediately and to undertake concrete measures to hold Israel accountable with serious punitive measures and sanctions.’