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Palestine blasts international silence on Israel’s Judaization, settlement expansion plans

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)
Israeli forces fire tear gas amid clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against settlements in the village of Beita in the occupied West Bank, on January 7, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned the international community’s silence on Israel’s attempts to Judaize the occupied city of al-Quds and advance its settlement expansion policies across Palestinian territories.

The ministry, in a statement released on Saturday, said the Tel Aviv regime was racing against time to implement its colonial settlement plans in the occupied Palestinian lands as part of attempts to distort historical, legal and demographic realities in the West Bank.

The statement said such bids were meant to serve Israel’s colonial interests in the occupied Palestinian territories and would actually close the door on the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with East al-Quds as its capital.

The Palestinian foreign ministry noted that Israeli settlement projects targeted large parts of Area C, which constitutes more than 60 percent of the West Bank, and were mainly concentrated in occupied East al-Quds and its surroundings.

Such moves will separate al-Quds from its Palestinian surroundings, will be sacrilegious to its sacred landmarks and will spoil the city’s cultural identity, the statement also read.

The ministry then denounced Israel’s settlements construction, home demolitions, ethnic cleansing, as well as repressive measures and restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities against al-Quds residents.

It held the Tel Aviv regime fully and primarily responsible for ongoing violations and crimes in al-Quds and its outskirts, saying that expansionist Israeli measures will eventually perpetuate occupation of Palestinian lands and displacement of Palestinian citizens, and will bolster an abominable apartheid regime in occupied Palestinian territories.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

In addition to expanding its illegal settlements, Israel restricts freedom of movement for Palestinians not only in and out of Palestine but also within it. Israeli settlers, backed by the military, also routinely storm al-Aqsa Mosque and provoke clashes with Palestinian worshipers.

‘Israel deliberately infects female Palestinian inmates with coronavirus’

Meanwhile, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement said Israeli officials were deliberately infecting female Palestinian prisoners with coronavirus.

Amina Hamid stated that Israel Prison Service (IPS) authorities only quarantine female prisoners infected by the coronavirus and provide no medical care for them.

Imprisoned Palestinian women are suffering from harsh and miserable conditions, are deprived of family visits and meetings with defense lawyers, neglected medically and exposed to various forms of torture, she said.

The remarks come as Israel is reportedly holding 33 Palestinian women behind bars in Damon Prison, who have recently been quarantined in order to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Israeli military forces arrested at least 178 female Palestinian nationals in 2021, marking a 32-percenebt increase compared to the preceding year.

Since 2015, the number of Palestinian women who have been arrested has reached more than 900, among them mothers of prisoners, martyrs and minor girls, according to a report by the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.

Hundreds of detainees, including women and minors, are being held without charge in various Israeli prisons, with some of them being held in that condition for up to 11 years.

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