Friday, September 25, 2020

A Zionist response to the new Palestinian unity government

By Lil Jackson - June 05, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Fatah] [Hamas] [US foreign policy] [Benjamin Netanyahu]

Photo by Lazar Simeonov.
Israel’s Housing Ministry has invited bids for 1,500 new homes in Jewish settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, reports said on Thursday. The release of the tenders come as a direct response to the formation of the Palestinian unity government on Monday.
Israeli Housing Minister and member of far the right Jewish Home party Uri Ariel described the invitation as “a proper response to the establishment of the Palestinian terror cabinet.” Ariel added that the planned housing is “just the beginning.” 
The decision to further expand West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements comes at a time when Israel is undoubtedly feeling vulnerable. Calls from Israel to the international community to refrain from recognizing the newly formed unity government have not had the desired force, as the European Union, the UN and the US have all committed to continue working with the new technocratic Palestinian government. 
Israeli Minister of Communications and Home Front Defense Gilad Erdan stated that the American’s have demonstrated “naivety,” and that “any collaboration with Hamas- which kills women and children- is unacceptable.” 
During a visit to Lebanon on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry defended the decision to recognize the unity government, stating that Abbas has “made clear that this new technocratic government is committed to the principles of non- violence” and to “recognizing the state of Israel.”  
A statement from the European Union welcomed “the appointment of a government of independent personalities.” In addition, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced his support for the unity government with a spokesperson stating that the “United Nations has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity.” 
It was only a matter of time before Israel put its rejection of the unity government into action, however the timing could have positive consequences for the Palestinian cause. The creation of 1,500 new homes can only serve to highlight Israel’s continuing disregard for international law. 
The retaliation comes at a time when international attention is focused on Palestine and the new Palestinian unity government. The UN, the US and the European Union have condemned illegal settlement expansion. A move so blatant could just be the beginning of the end for Israel’s plans to further their grip on Palestinian owned land. 
In fact, just this afternoon, rumors began to fly that the PLO will appeal to the UN Security Council over Israel’s latest settlement endeavors. 
“The executive committee of the PLO views this latest escalation with the utmost of seriousness,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the committee, said in an English-language statement Thursday afternoon. 
The executive committee “will counter it by addressing both the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly as the proper way of curbing this grave violation and ensuring accountability,” she said.
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat furthered Ashrawi’s sentiments in a interview with AFP, saying: “It’s time to hold Israel accountable in from of international organization sin light of international law…Those who fear the international courts should stop their war crimes against the Palestinian people, first and foremost of which is settlement activity.”


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