International Impunity Encourages Israel’s Settlements Expansion

RAMALLAH, July 22, 2015 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee Chairman Saeb Erekat said, in a statement Wednesday, that Israel’s unceasing settlement activity and expansion would have come to an end without the impunity it has enjoyed from the international community.

Erekat’s statement came hours after the Israeli Civil Administration approved the construction of 906 new housing units in the West Bank.

The new units will accommodate approximately 4,500 new settlers in Occupied Palestine at the expense of the Palestinian community whose land these settlers will occupy, he said.

“These housing units could not be approved without the impunity the international community has granted Israel,” he stressed. “Israel, the occupying power, systematically ignores all calls made to stop its violations and crimes, particularly those calls made by the European community.”

He reiterated that the international community has a responsibility to ban settlement products and divest from all companies and organizations “complicit in the Israeli settlement enterprise.”

“Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” through settlement construction continues as the international community fails to take concrete steps in order to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law,” he said.

“[Israel’s] policy [of population transfer] has drastically affected Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the southern Hebron region,” Erekat said, adding: “Some of the most dramatic examples of such policies can be seen in the villages of Abu Nawar and Susiya, in Jerusalem and Hebron respectively. Just today, Israeli forces uprooted 400 olive trees from the village of Beit Ula in the Hebron District.”

The Palestinian leadership vowed to continue taking the necessary steps within international forums, including cooperating with the International Criminal Court, in order to end Israeli crimes and achieve the long overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.