Following the Israeli government’s approval of thousands of new settlement units in the Occupied State of Palestine, PLO Executive Committee Member and head of the Palestinian negotiations team Dr. Saeb Erekat stated:
The Israeli government is celebrating 47 years of occupation and war crimes with the approval of thousands of new settlement units in the Occupied State of Palestine. Because the international community has not moved forcefully enough to stop illegal settlement activity, the government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu has rearmed its intent to challenge international law and international peace eorts by further colonizing our occupied country. is time Israel is using Palestinian national unity, a step welcomed by the international community, as their excuse to continue the colonization of Palestine.
We believe this latest announcement is a clear sign that Israel is moving towards a major escalation, such as new settlement construction, the annexation of occupied territory and forcible transfer. Meanwhile, Israel continues to commit crimes against our people living under occupation, including the mistreatment of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, daily attacks and incitement against Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the draconian siege of our people in the Gaza Strip.
In light of the Israeli announcement, we are carefully studying and weighing our response. It is time for the international community to hold this Israeli government and its members accountable under international law and before the relevant international bodies for their war crimes. Additionally, we call upon the international community to assume its responsibilities including ban all Israeli settlement products, divest from all companies involved directly or indirectly in the Israeli occupation, and take all possible measures in order to hold Israel, the occupying power, accountable for its daily violations of Palestinian rights and international law.