RAMALLAH, March 17, 2016 (WAFA) - Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Thursday condemned Israel‘s systematic land grab policy of Palestinians’ land and farms in the West Bank.
In a press release Hamdallah described the policy as a “flagrant violation of international law”. He said the Israeli government has no interest in peace and would rather implement a policy designed to prevent the formation of a contiguous Palestinian state.
The statement came following news that Israel seized 2,342 dunams (579 acres) in the Jordan Valley near Jericho, an area where Israel already has built many settlement farms on seized Palestinian land. It is the largest seizure of land since August 2014.
Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications and Media at the Prime Minister‘s Office, said Israel‘s decision sends a very strong message to the international community that the current far-right Israeli government led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not abide by previous agreements or support a two-state solution.
The United States, Germany and France have issued statements criticizing Israel’s move, while the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that such action violates international law.
French officials also expressed concern affirming such move contradicts previous Israeli statements in favor of a two-state solution. The German Foreign Ministry officials said the timing was particularly bad, coinciding with efforts to restart peace talks.
On Tuesday, the US State Department said the ongoing expropriations and settlement expansions were "fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution."
"We strongly oppose any steps that accelerate settlement expansion, which raises serious questions about Israel‘s long-term intentions," said State Department spokesman John Kirby in a news briefing.