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PLO denounces Israel settlement plans as ‘war crimes’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hanan Ashrawi, with the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (© AFP)

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has blasted Israel for ordering the construction of more illegal settler units in the occupied territories, describing the move as “war crimes” against Palestinians.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, accused the Tel Aviv regime of planning to occupy further Palestinian lands and sabotaging peace efforts in the region.

“These settlement measures and war crimes are part of a plan by Israeli leaders to impose a ‘Greater Israel’ on historic Palestine and destroy … the chance for peace” in the region, the statement said.

The remarks came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the construction of hundreds of illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that “the immediate construction of 300 homes in Beit El” settlement had been authorized. The project was first announced three years ago.

Israeli cranes rotate sections of concrete as they build a wall around the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in the occupied West Bank, April 7, 2015. (© AFP)


The statement further went on to say that plans for building another 504 settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) had also been approved.

Israel has expanded its illegal settlement construction in the occupied territories in the past few years in defiance of international calls on the regime to end its expansionist polices.

Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank including East al-Quds in 1967.

Much of the international community considers the settler units as illegal because the territories were seized by Israel in a 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

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