Foreign Minister Calls on Canadian Counterpart to Halt Settlements, Land Expropriation

RAMALLAH, June 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki called on his Canadian counterpart Rob Nicholson to pressure Israel into halting its violations, especially regarding settlements’ construction and land expropriation.

During his meeting with the top Canadian diplomat at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Ramallah, al-Malki affirmed that the international community needs to exhibit the political will to safeguard and implement the two-state solution in order for it to materialize.

Al-Malki explained that the international community has to take effective measures to pressure the new Israeli government to commit itself to the two-state solution. Relevant international actors don’t have to content themselves with issuing statements condemning Israeli practices, but they have to take effective steps to pressure the new Israeli government to commit itself to the two state-solution.

He briefed his Canadian counterpart about the statements and practices of the Israeli government, which publicly undermine the two-state solution under the full observation of the international community.

Al-Malki noted that members of the new right-wing Israeli government publicly expressed their opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state and vehemently supported settlement construction, settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian people and property and passing racist laws.

He also briefed his Canadian counterpart about Palestinian diplomatic efforts in international forums as well as the French initiative to pass a United Nations Security Council’s resolution that would set a deadline for ending the Israeli occupation and allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Al-Malki noted that the Palestinian leadership is committed to the resumption of ‘serious’ and ‘effective’ talks based on a strategy that seeks to safeguard the two-state solution and end the occupation and suffering of the Palestinian people.

On his part, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicholson affirmed his country’s commitment to push the peace process forward and resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the two-state solution.

The top diplomats discussed ways to develop bilateral relations, including the formation of a Palestinian-Canadian group in charge of assessing bilateral relations and helping detect and address weaknesses.

They also discussed ways to reinforce international counter-terrorism efforts.

The new Israeli government is composed of ultra-nationalist and conservative religious politicians, none of whom is seriously committed to resuming peace talks that would lead to ending the Israeli occupation and establishment of independent Palestinian state.

Such politicians include Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, a religious Zionist, who had previously described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as religiously-driven.

They also include Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who previously endorsed an article by former Netanyahu speechwriter Uri Elitzur describing Palestinian children as “little snakes” and calling for their mothers to be killed and approved a bill that would see Palestinian protestors who throw stones at settlers’ vehicles moving within the occupied West Bank jailed up for 10 years.

Slamming the new Israeli coalition government as a clear indication that Israel intends to continue, even entrench, its racist policies against the Palestinian people and their rights, the PLO Executive Committee had stated: “The Israeli government’s new members represent symbols of racism similar to those who fostered the apartheid regime in South Africa and elsewhere, if not more extreme.”

“This extreme government will encourage the looting of Palestinian land and enact laws that safeguard racism and stealing the Palestinians’ rights,” it added.