Strong condemnations of Israeli decision to hasten settlement process
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry says the illegal settlement expansion and forcible expulsion of Palestinians from their houses is a "flagrant violation" and a "grave breach" of international law.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry considered on Sunday that the Israeli occupation government's plans to hand Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich the authority to approve new construction of illegal Israeli settlements represent a serious development in the way to complete Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
In a statement, the Ministry warned of the dangers of such a decision, which it described as another step toward applying Israeli occupation law to the West Bank and facilitating the "quiet, noiseless" approval of settlements.
The statement called for "real international and American action" to pressure the occupation government to retract the decision, and to take the necessary practical steps to force the Netanyahu government to end its illegal unilateral violations that undermine the opportunities to achieve a so-called "two-state solution".
Despite an "Israeli commitment" during the Aqaba meeting between the US, "Israel", Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, to "stop discussing the establishment of any new settlement units for 4 months, and to stop approving any new settlement outposts for a period of 6 months," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously confirmed that "the construction of settlement outposts in the West Bank will continue without any change."
It is noteworthy that under international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal, and the United Nations Security Council has condemned Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in late February that Israeli-built settlements are "illegal" and they "must stop".
On its part, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli occupation government's plan to expedite the process of approving settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
The Ministry's spokesperson, Sinan Majali, underlined in a statement that illegal settlement expansion and forcible displacement of Palestinians from their houses is a "flagrant violation" and a "grave breach" of international law.
Majali referred to Security Council Resolution No. 2334, which calls on the international community to take swift action to stop unilateral Israeli occupation measures.
The Jordanian official rejected and condemned the Israeli occupation's measures that represent a serious violation of international humanitarian law, and undermine the "foundations of peace" and chances to realize the so-called "two-state solution".
In the same context, Hamas said it "condemns in the strongest possible terms the frenzied campaign launched by the Zionist occupation authorities to Judaise our Palestinian land as settler-colonial projects that will not grant the Israeli occupation legitimacy over our land."
"Hamas calls on the international community, particularly the United Nations, to take serious, swift action to put an end to these Judaisation projects that will escalate the situation and pose a threat to world peace and security," the Resistance movement indicated in a statement.
It also called for "criminalizing colonial settlement expansion as it blatantly violates international laws and resolutions."
Earlier, Hussein Al-Sheikh, the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), announced that the Palestinian Authority decided to boycott the meeting of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) with the Israeli occupation, which was scheduled to be held on Monday.
After the decision of the #Israeli government to accelerate the stages of settlement growth in the West Bank, and to authorize its Minister of Finance, Smotrich, to ratify this. We decided to boycott the meeting of the Joint Economic Committee #JEC between the two parties, which… https://t.co/Me9egi9b3t— حسين الشيخ Hussein AlSheikh (@HusseinSheikhpl) June 18, 2023
It is noteworthy that last week, three Israeli and US officials told Axios that the Israeli occupation government informed President Joe Biden's administration that it intends to announce in late June the building and planning of thousands of new "housing units" in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Axios cited one source briefed on the matter as saying that the Israeli occupation plans include at least 4,000 "housing units" in several illegal settlements in the West Bank.
An Israeli official told the news website that the so-called "Israeli civil administration planning and zoning committee" will meet in late June to approve the plans.
According to Axios, Israeli and US officials revealed that the US administration is pressuring Benjamin Netanyahu's government to postpone the announcement or to reduce it as much as possible.
Reacting to the Axios report at a White House briefing, John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, claimed that for a long time, the US administration has been voicing its worries to the Israeli government about illegal settlements expansion.
Kirby alleged that Washington does not wish to witness acts that make the so-called "two-state solution" more difficult to accomplish or that raise tensions.
In the same context, a US State Department spokesperson underlined that it is "critical for all parties to uphold the commitments made at regional meetings in Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh to avoid measures that undermine the prospects for a two-state solution."
Despite the US publicly criticizing the Israeli occupation's plans, the Israeli news website Haaretz revealed in 2015 that at least 50 organizations in the United States were involved in fundraising for illegal Israeli settlements.
According to Haaretz, part of the funds also went "toward providing legal aid to Jews accused or convicted of terrorism, and supporting their families" through "Honenu", a "legal aid society."
"Among those who benefited from the group’s support in 2013 were the family of Ami Popper, who murdered seven Palestinian laborers in 1990, and members of the Bat Ayin Underground, which attempted to detonate a bomb at a girls’ school in East Jerusalem in 2002," the Israeli news website highlighted.