Wed 07 Jun 2023 10:38 pm - Jerusalem Time

A European Palestinian warning against the implementation of a settlement project in Jerusalem

Palestinian and European officials warned today (Wednesday) of Israel's implementation of a massive settlement project in eastern Jerusalem that would eliminate the option of the internationally recognized two-state solution.

The Hebrew public radio said that a major settlement planning committee will meet next week to discuss the controversial "E1" project in East Jerusalem.

The radio reported yesterday (Tuesday) that the settlement movement and right-wing religious parties are seeking, through the implementation of the project, to build about 3,400 homes in a new neighborhood of the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement.

The radio indicated that two hearings will be held next Monday on the project to deal with objections to the planned settlement expansion with representatives of local Palestinian municipal authorities as well as Israeli non-governmental organizations.

Amal Jadu, Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters in Ramallah that the project poses a great danger as it destroys the possibility of a two-state solution, which is the solution adopted by the international community as a solution to the Palestinian cause.

Jado added that the European Union, the US administration and the international community put pressure on Israel not to implement the project when it was developed under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

It warned that the implementation of the project would completely eliminate the possibility of communication between the north and south of the West Bank, would cut it in the middle, and close the possibility of establishing a contiguous Palestinian state geographically.

Jado indicated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is communicating directly with the partners in the European Union, and letters will be sent to the foreign ministers of the countries of the world, in addition to the issuance of directives to Palestinian ambassadors all over the world to strengthen the positions of countries that reject the project that undermines the two-state solution.

The Palestinian official called for the implementation of United Nations resolutions on Palestine as applied in other conflicts taking place in the world, noting that there is a "significant slowdown" when it comes to the issue of the State of Israel.

In turn, the Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), Sabri Saidam, considered that the field conditions are likely for further field escalation in light of the Israeli project aimed at separating the West Bank.

Saidam told the official Voice of Palestine radio that matters are "probable for further escalation on the ground in light of the project aimed at separating the West Bank into two halves and ending the Palestinian state."

He added that "every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and as long as Israel continues its policy of repression, it will not enjoy security, as there will be more Palestinian popular resistance towards their policies."

Saidam continued, "The Israeli occupation will be convinced that the Palestinian people is not a project of liquidation, but rather a project of survival," accusing the "silent" countries of being partners in the sustainability of the occupation and colonial liquidation.

The settlement file is the most prominent aspect of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and one of the main reasons for the suspension of the last peace negotiations between the two sides before mid-2014.

Ahmed Al-Ruwaidi, advisor to the Palestinian Presidency for Jerusalem Affairs, considered that the demolition of Palestinian homes and settlements in the city of Jerusalem are two sides of the same coin, calling on the International Criminal Court to intervene and take action to stop the Israeli practices and "illegal crimes."

Al-Ruwaidi said in a statement, "The Israeli occupation wants from the policy of demolition to expel the people of Jerusalem and change the demographic situation and make the Palestinians a minority that does not exceed 20% compared to the Israelis, which seeks to increase their percentage to 80%."

He added, "The occupation uses a policy of demolition to expel people from their homes, and that approximately 22,000 homes are threatened with demolition in Jerusalem," noting that the Israeli authorities demolish 30 facilities per month, especially in the old area of the city.

Al-Ruwaidi added, "The Israeli government's mentality continues with its policy of demolition and settlement and does not heed any international pressure," pointing out that the criminal court has begun "to lose its credibility as it is silent on any issue related to the occupied Palestinian territories."

The media official at the European Union Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Shadi Othman, told reporters in the city of Ramallah that the project constituted a strategic threat along the Palestinian territories and the possibility of implementing the two-state solution.

Othman said that the region is vital and has dangerous dimensions on all the political situation and what is happening on the ground, and if the project is implemented, it will divide the West Bank into two halves, indicating that the European Union follows up the matter in a precise, direct and almost daily manner.

Othman added that the settlements are "illegal under international law and resolutions of international legitimacy," noting that these practices must stop.

He explained that the European Union is implementing projects in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, especially areas classified as "C", as they support the Palestinian people in their presence on the land and confront this settlement policy.

The Palestinians want to declare the eastern part of Jerusalem the capital of their future state, while Israel insists that Jerusalem, which annexed the eastern part of it in 1967, be unified and its capital.


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A European Palestinian warning against the implementation of a settlement project in Jerusalem