RAMALLAH, June 5, 2017 (WAFA) – The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Monday that 50 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is a shame for the international system.
Israel attacked Jordan, Egypt and Syria on June 5, 1967 occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Sinai from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.
While Israel has returned the Sinai to Egypt following the signing of a peace agreement between them, it still holds on to the rest of the occupied territories in defiance of international resolutions that have called on it to withdraw from these territories.
“We are marking 50 years since a deliberate Israeli attack resulted in Israel occupying the 22% of historic Palestine that had been left since 1948,” said Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee. “It was clear since then that, what Israel wanted was not a ‘temporary occupation’, but a colonial settlement strategy aimed at taking as much as Palestinian land and natural resources as possible. In defiance of its obligations under International Law and UN resolutions, Israel has strengthened its colonial policies for the past 50 years.”
Erekat said: “For the Palestinian people, marking 50 years of occupation means marking 50 years of oppression, subjugation and daily control over all aspects of people‘s lives. It means 50 years of attacks and aggression from occupation forces and settlers against a defenseless civilian population. At the same time, it has also meant 50 years of statements and international resolutions that Israel, the occupying power, has insisted on violating with impunity.”
The PLO official criticized countries that still deal with the occupation in spite of its defiance of international law.
“As we mark 50 years, there are a number of countries that continue to reward the Israeli occupation of our land: They trade with Israeli settlements, their companies profit from the Israeli colonial settlement enterprise and are engaged in an agenda of strengthening relations with Israel. At the same time, Tel Aviv systematically denies our basic rights, including the right to freedom and self-determination.
“It is long overdue to implement UNSC resolutions, including 2334 regarding Israeli settlements. It is also overdue for countries that haven‘t recognized the State of Palestine on the 1967 border to do so. How is it that countries which condemn settlements continue to trade with them? We demand a full ban on Israeli settlement products and we call upon the UN to publish as soon as possible the list of companies profiting from the Israeli colonial occupation of our country.”
Erekat called on the international community to take action to end the Israeli occupation, which is destroying the two-state solution.
“We are demanding from each member of the international community to assume its legal responsibilities and stop cooperating with the Israeli occupation: We don‘t want another 50 years of impunity and complicity with the systematic denial of our rights. Israeli policies to destroy the two-state solution will not be met with the disappearance of our rights, rather they will be met with more resilience from our people who will remain steadfast towards the fulfillment of their rights. Our people will defeat Apartheid.”