The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has appealed to the international community to force Israel to stop carving up the West Bank into Bantustans.
Meanwhile, Syria has called on the Arab League to call an urgent summit to adopt a pro-Damascus stance to counter international pressure imposed on the country following the UN inquiry into the killing of former Lebanese premier, Rafiq al-Hariri.
The Palestinians’ appeal comes against the backdrop of a wave of Israeli air strikes on Gaza, and the recent re-imposition of harsh restrictions on Palestinians’ movement throughout the occupied territory.
Yesterday, two more leading Palestinian militants were killed in an Israeli missile strike on their jeep in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Six others were wounded.
Last week, the Israeli army installed a major checkpoint at the Zaatra Junction, south of Nablus, as part of a ‘central command plan for reshaping the area’.
Nablus Governor Mahmoud al-Alul said: ‘This border crossing-like checkpoint is cutting off Nablus and Jenin from the rest of the West Bank. Israel is really creating an isolated Bantustan here.’
Abdullah Abdullah, from the PNA Foreign Ministry, said: ‘This mutilation of the West Bank is a deliberate, political and strategic Israeli measure aimed at annihilating Palestinian dreams for a viable Palestinian state for fifty years to come.’
Meanwhile, Numair Ghanim, Head of Syria’s parliamentary committee on international relations, said: ‘Syria has demanded an urgent session of the Arab League to hold talks among Arabs concerning the dangers behind the current events in the Middle East, particularly the pressure imposed on Syria.
‘All our Arab brothers should be aware of what is going on, as the United States wants to play in the area and will not stop at Syria and Lebanon
‘Al-Hariri’s blood has been used as a tool to achieve their (US) previously planned objectives.’