Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has warned against the Israeli occupation government’s plans to build thousands of settlements in the occupied West Bank, saying that such plans undermine the two-state solution by annexing territories that should be the foundation of a future Palestinian state.
In a statement on Tuesday, Aboul Gheit demanded that the US administration take a firm stance against the planned Israeli plans to defend the two-state solution promoted by Washington. He stressed that settlements undermine peace and that there can be no talks about a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, or about regional peace in the region, while the Palestinian territories are being destroyed every day.
Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Jamal Rushdy, said that there is information circulating in media platforms on the subject, and that the right-wing Israeli government is seeking to obtain a US green light to proceed with its plans.
Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying that the Netanyahu government refuses to be a partner in a peaceful political process leading to a comprehensive settlement, and that its first and last concern is to satisfy the most extreme wings in the domestic political arena, and to appease settlement groups and nationalist religious movements.
For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community and the US administration who spoke out strongly against Israeli settlement expansion plans not to be satisfied with only statements of condemnation and to go further and impose sanctions and take other punitive measures against Israel.
It said in a statement that the Palestinian people pay a heavy price every day as a result of settler violence and the escalation in crimes committed by the occupation forces against defenseless civilians, their land, property and homes.
The Ministry said Israel, employs all its capabilities to fight the Palestinian presence in Area C, which makes two-thirds of the area of the occupied West Bank, in order to impose its control over it and build settlements as part of its creeping annexation of the occupied territories, divide the West Bank, and kill any chance for establishing the independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It said that it is following these developments with international courts, foremost of which is the International Criminal Court, and with countries at the bilateral level and with various UN officials and frameworks.
It expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the low level of international reactions towards the annexation of the West Bank, imposing more Israeli laws on it, and building more settlement units there.
The Ministry said these responses indicate double standards and the absence of a will to uphold international law and relevant UN resolutions.
Despite the repeated international and American positions rejecting settlements and illegal unilateral Israeli measures, the occupying state has not ceased to continue in this policy as long as it does not affect its relationship with those countries and there are no pressure or deterrent sanctions that threaten the Israeli interests that would force it to submit to the will of the international community.