RAMALLAH, March 24, 2016 (WAFA) – Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to seek a United Nations resolution to force Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Ministry, in a statement Thursday, called upon world countries to support Palestinian and Arab efforts aiming to hold an international peace conference on Palestine.
The statement came in response to Israel’s approval of a controversial plan pushed by the settler organization ‘Elad’, which aims to construct settlement units in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
The Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center (WHIC) said in a statement the settlement project was approved after an emergency session was held at the council’s headquarters on Tuesday.
WHIC said families of Silwan withdrew from the session after they were treated “in a racist way.”
To be noted, Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Golan Heights, both occupied since 1967, are deemed illegal under international law.
B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group said, “The settlements have been allocated vast areas, far exceeding their built-up sections. These areas have been declared closed military zones by military orders and are off s to Palestinians, except by special permit. In contrast, Israeli citizens, Jews from anywhere in the world and tourists may all freely enter these areas.”
According to a report by the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ), “The consecutive Israeli governments adopted a policy to acquire much of the West Bank lands to build and expand the Israeli settlements by employing different methods; most renowned of which, “security,” which is also, how Israel was able to restrict Palestinian towns’ development on the remaining areas.”