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Erekat Criticizes Israeli Foreign Ministry Youtube Video

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RAMALLAH, July 20, 2011 (WAFA) - Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat Wednesday expressed his shock at a Youtube video produced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which the Israeli Ministry distorts international law regarding the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

“With this video, the Israeli government has left no doubt on its pro-conflict agenda,” said Erekat in a press release. “Now, the international community knows the Israeli government is committed to denying the Palestinian people their inalienable right to self-determination and on continuing their illegal and colonial enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory”, he said.

Erekat said this video, presented by the Israeli deputy minister of foreign affairs, Danny Ayalon, denies the validity of UN resolutions and claims that the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are a legitimate part of Israel.

He added, “This is not an amateur video prepared by an extremist group. An official representing the State of Israel presents a cynical and falsified account of history and international law.”

Erekat continued: “In its desperate attempt to gear international discourse away from the pursuit of genuine peace to the outdated arguments of those who oppose it, this official video went as far as discarding United Nations Resolution 181 (II). I want to remind the government of Israel that it was accepted at the UN as a full member based on its acceptance of this resolution.”

He said that while the Palestinian leadership is shocked by the return of this hostile argument, this video was the unfortunate yet logical step of defiance for this Israeli government, which has escaped international accountability for decades.

“We call on the international community to demand an official explanation from the Government of Israel regarding this video, which openly expresses hostility towards the Palestinian people and their legitimate national rights to independence and self-determination,” said Erekat.

“The acquisition of territory by force and aggression is both illegal and deplorable. This is a well established principle of international law. The world regards the Palestinian Territory comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as an occupied territory. Furthermore, the fact that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal is not in dispute, except in minds of the advocates of occupations.” said the chief negotiator.

Erekat also referred to the incitement against Jordan made by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in the video: “The Arab peace initiative, which Jordan has consistently supported, offers Israel peace, security, and normalized relations with 57 Arab and Muslim states. In response, the Israeli government reciprocates this earnest effort by advancing baseless claims to Jordan as being part of the ‘historic Jewish homeland’” he said.

“The international community works to find a way out of the current impasse, which was caused by Israel's intransigence and illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Israeli government has now responded by stating clearly that it is not a partner for peace,” Erekat said, adding, “This offensive presentation of official Israeli policy provides additional proof as to why the international community should invest in peace and support Palestine’s admission to the United Nations.”

M.A.

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