WASHINGTON, April 26, 2012 (WAFA) - The General Delegation of the PLO to the United States Thursday strongly condemned the turning of three Israeli settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank into full fledged settlements, describing the move as “Israeli provocation,” according to a statement.
It said the Israeli act “is a clear violation of their Roadmap obligations as well as commitments made in previously signed agreements.”
While it stressed that all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal under international law, “this latest act by the Israeli government only adds insult to injury.”
The statement by the PLO office in Washington said that these actions took place despite the presence in the region of US special envoy to the Middle East, David Hale, “showing complete disregard for the US administration’s efforts to achieve progress in the political process.”
It said that Israel’s “legalizing” of the settlement outposts also comes only a week after Palestinian officials delivered a letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging the latter to take tangible steps towards delivering on previous commitments.
“By taking this step, the Israeli government sends an unequivocal message to the world that it is far more committed to land theft than it is to resolving the conflict. Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to cater to extremists who undermine the prospects of a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Unfortunately, his agenda is not for peace; his focus is solely on maintaining his coalition,” said the statement.
The General Delegation of the PLO to the US urged the US administration and the international community to take immediate steps to pressure the Israeli government to cease all of its illegal settlement activities, and make clear that unilateral actions that undermine the political process will no longer be tolerated.