PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s approval of 2,500 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank; this decision was made just two day after the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee approved the permits for more than 550 units in Occupied East Jerusalem:
“Once again, the Israeli government has proved that it is more committed to land theft and colonialism than to the two-state solution and the requirements for peace and stability. Such a deliberate escalation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise constitutes a war crime and the flagrant violation of international law and conventions, in particular UN Security Council resolution 2334.
It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state. Therefore, we urge the US and the rest of the international community to undertake serious and concrete measures to bring about a full cessation of all settlement activities and to hold Israel to account for these disastrous plans with punitive measures and sanctions before it completes the destruction of the territorial and demographic contiguity of the West Bank.”