Israel’s approval of the illegal confiscation of 1,000 square kilometers in the heart of the occupied West Bank to construct 7,000 new illegal settlement units in the Bethlehem District constitutes a new war crime and a grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian and criminal laws, said Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Executive Committee.
Ashrawi said in a statement that this is an outrageous exploitation of the COVID-19 global pandemic to advance the illegal settler project and irreparably damage any prospect of political breakthrough.
“It is obvious that Israel and its allies in the current US administration are unfazed by the serious yet still rhetorical international opposition to annexation plans, which are unfolding on the ground everyday,” she said. “This abject disregard for international law was evident in recent statements by US Ambassador David Friedman, who reaffirmed his fundamentalism and the US administration’s full support for annexation.”
“The US administration is anchoring its aggressive and illegal policies in biblical and extreme ideological references while disregarding and shunning the entire rules-based international order.”
“Responsible actors in the international community must stop the messianic US-Israeli agenda, which threatens to condemn the entire region to religious tensions and endless conflict,” she added.
Ashrawi stressed that the annexation agenda should be confronted on every possible level.
“All efforts must focus on confronting this reckless and lawless annexation agenda legally, politically, economically and through all possible actionable avenues,” she said.
“Without applying serious accountability measures, including serious preventive action, the international community will be granting Israel additional time to carry out its extraterritorial agenda,” she concluded.