The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, bragged two days ago that “the settlements of “(Afrat and Ghosh Atsion) constituted an integral part of “Greater Jerusalem” and Israel”. He said, that “they are the two southern gates to Jerusalem, and they shall always be part of the state of Israel”. This represents a new challenge to the international community and international legitimacy. By such statement, Mr. Netanyahu confesses that he is planning to expand illegal settlement construction and that he encourages, financing and sponsors the plans that aim to Judaize Jerusalem.
In such a hostile environment that the Israeli Prime Minister preaches, the gangs of settlers continue to launch attacks against Palestinian civilians. Few days ago, a group of settlers threw a cocktail bomb on a taxi driver that the Ghayadah family rented near Bethlehem. Family members were severely burnt and some of them are still hospitalized. And today a Palestinian elder citizen, Mr. Ismail Ibrahim Al-Adra, (65 years old) was beaten by another group of settlers, east of the town of Yatta.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the positions and statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister that promote and legalize settlement construction, which give a green light to continuous settlers’ provocations and attacks against Palestinian citizens and their properties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers Netanyahu’s statements another major blow to the hopes of peace and resuming negotiations, therefore :
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the International Community, especially the Quartet, to condemn these statements and policies, and to take the necessary procedures in an effective manner to end the occupation and its settlement construction activities, as a steppingstone to ending Israel’s incompliance with International law. The international community needs to stop treating Israel as a state above the law.
2. Calls on both the Arab and Islamic nations to act urgently to support Jerusalem and protect its sacred and holy sites which are exposed to the worst campaign of excavations and judization.
3. Calls upon the International Quartet to fully hold Israel responsible for the deterioration and the stalemate in the peace process, and to provide international protection to our people in the Occupied Territory.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ramallah, 28 August, 2012
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