Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said in a statement today that Israel’s approval of its provisional budget was evidence of its willful steps to finalize the de facto annexation of occupied Palestinian land.
Following is the full statement of Dr. Ashrawi:
“Israel’s approved provisional budget is unequivocal evidence of the Israeli government’s willful steps to finalize the de facto annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
Instead of setting out to deal with real priorities, including “helping the needy”, the Israeli government has prioritized spending 3.23 billion US dollars mostly to step up crimes against the Palestinian people.
Among the announced Israeli budget priorities is accelerating the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from so-called Area C, which comprises 60% of the West Bank, stepping up land grab and increasing the expansion of illegal settlement, as well as plundering Palestinian archeological sites to complete the cultural appropriation of Palestine and its history.
This is a budget focused on pillaging and plundering Palestine, its natural resources, its land, its historical sites, and cultural narrative.
In addition to being such a clear proclamation of the intent to carry out war crimes, the Israeli government’s approved budget is a slap in the face to states that have preferred to delude themselves into believing the “suspension of annexation” ruse.
In reality, Israel’s willful policy of displacement and replacement of the Palestinian people is accelerating on the ground.
Demolition of Palestinian homes, evictions, land appropriation, theft of historical sites, and many other crimes are happening at unprecedented rates.
Regrettably, instead of holding Israel to account and stopping these war crimes, some countries are rewarding Israel for its lawlessness and criminality, thus encouraging this culture of impunity.
No government can claim blissful ignorance to escape facing its clear obligation to hold Israel accountable.
Allowing Israel to get away with this systemic destructive agenda is nothing short of complicity.”