Mansour and Erakat: Continued Settlement Expansion is Illegal

PNN – Palestine News Network -15.08.11 – 11:27

Dr Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat have both issued declarations echoing many other international diplomats that continued Israeli settlement expansion is illegal.
ImageIn letters to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Chairman of the United Nations and the Chairman of the General Assembly, Mansour declares the illegality of Israels plans to build 900 new housing units in Har Homa settlement, as well as 1600 new ones in Ramat Shlomo. Both settlements, located in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law.
Ambassador Mansour said the illegal action of continuing the construction and expansion of settlements is a unilateral step that shows that Israel does not want peace, but instead wants to continue to the colonisation of Palestine. He called upon Israel to abide by international law, stop their expansionist policies and put into motion steps that will help end the Israeli occupation and bring about a viable and just two-state solution.
Lastly he stressed the need to question Israel and hold the Israeli government to account for any war crimes they have committed, and any perpetrators of abuses should be brought to justice.
Dr Saeb Erakat, Palestine’s Chief Negotiator, also slammed Israel’s expansionist policies claiming that “Israel regards itself as a state above International law and accountability”.
Erakat continued claiming “This approval and the reported plan for additional expansion in illegal settlements across the occupied Palestinian Territory, especially occupied East Jerusalem, is further proof that this government is committed to investing in occupation rather than peace”
“In the past few days, members of the international community, including all members of the Quartet, condemned the expansion of the illegal settlement of Har Homa. Today, Israel has responded to this international consensus with intransigence and wilful disregard”
“It is now abundantly clear that with the continued illegal settlement expansion, Israel aims to turn its occupation of Palestine into a permanent annexation. Without effective and proactive measures from the international community, Israel will be further encouraged to stay on the path of colonization and further entrench its enterprise of occupation, land grab, and impunity” “The international community has a permanent responsibility to uphold international law, protect the Palestinian people, support the Palestinian State and hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations.”

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