A high-ranking Palestinian official says the Tel Aviv regime is forcibly displacing the Palestinian population to advance its land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in the occupied territories in blatant violation of international law and defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“Israel continues to forcibly transfer the Palestinian population for the sake of expansion and consolidation of its illegal colonial settlement activities on lands belonging to the State of Palestine,” Chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat said in a statement on Saturday.
He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently ordered the eviction of Palestinian Bedouin communities living in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds community of Jabal al-Baba, and their relocation to the city of Ariha, also known as Jericho, and Abu Dis town instead.
“This move is directly related to the intention of the Israeli regime to advance its E1 settlement plan, which threatens the existence of Palestinians and replaces the population with 15,000 Israeli settlers in 3,500 housing units,” Erekat pointed out.
The senior Palestinian official warned that the plan would lead to the full isolation of East Jerusalem al-Quds from the rest of the West Bank, suffocate future growth and economic development in the area, and divide the occupied West Bank into two separate parts forever.
“As a result of the international community's failure to hold Israel accountable, Israeli war crimes continue to deny Palestine the right to exist. UN member states and international organizations must immediately assume their responsibilities, specifically those that fall under the Fourth Geneva Convention and Hague regulations, to protect the Palestinian nation. The United Nations must also fulfill its obligations in accordance with international law and resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334,” Erekat commented.
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.
Trump backtracked on Washington’s support for the so-called “two-state solution” in February, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
“Looking at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US president said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Washington on February 15.