Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat strongly condemned the approval of 58 new settlement housing units for the illegal settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, between Occupied East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
“Israel has an obsession to intensify its aggression against Palestine and its people while we are trying to reach a negotiated solution. After the announcement to intensify negotiations made by Secretary John Kerry, Israel destroyed the village of Khirbet Makhoul for the fourth time and approved further settlement expansion aimed at sealing Occupied East Jerusalem from Ramallah.”
Dr. Erekat continued: “Our position is clear and in line with international law: all Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal. Settlement construction in Occupied East Jerusalem, Ariel and Kiryat Arba is illegal and undermines the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution. If Israel is serious about peace, they must cease all settlement activities.”
Dr. Erekat concluded: “While a few EU countries have voiced reservations to the EU guidelines on settlements, this new announcement should reaffirm to the international community that to embrace its responsibility to take concrete actions against all Israeli settlements activities would place it on the right side of justice. For peace to prevail and a two-state solution to flourish, the world must act in order to make Israel pay the price for its institutionalized defiance of international law and UN resolutions.”