PA slams Israeli settlement plan, Warsaw conference

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-06 20:16:40|Editor: ZX
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RAMALLAH, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority's (PA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs slammed Wednesday Israeli new plan to build 13 settlement units in East Jerusalem.

The ministry said in a statement that "the pillars of the ruling right wing in Israel and its leaders continue to compete on their electoral campaigns by imposing schemes that consolidate settlements and expand them in the Palestinian territories on party electoral lists."

The ministry's statement held the Israeli government fully accountable for the consequences and results of the settlement consolidation, and the Judaization of Palestinian territory, considering it a "crime" under international law and international humanitarian law.

Israeli public radio reported Tuesday that Israeli authorities in Jerusalem issued a final approval to build 13 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. The area is to the west of Shaikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, near the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli settlement activity, deemed illegal by most world powers and under the international law, is considered one of the thorniest issues that hindered the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. It continues to be one of the main issues of disagreement since the stop of the peace talks in 2014.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel wants all Jerusalem to be its eternal capital.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and declared the whole city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, but the move has not been recognized by the international community.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told official Palestinian radio station Voice of Palestine earlier on Wednesday that the U.S.-backed Middle East peace conference to be held in Warsaw next week "is illegitimate" and that the Palestinian side "does not accept being represented in it."

"We will not take part in any illegitimate meetings under international law or international references, and we will not accept to be represented by anyone or allow anyone to speak on our behalf," he said, stressing that the Palestinian side will not deal with its outcomes.

The U.S. administration is organizing an international conference in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14 and has invited Arab states and Israel to the conference.

Malki slammed the United States for not being serious and looking for a place to host its allies and exit the official international framework in order to "capture its allies interest."

The Palestinians declared to boycott the American administration since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May 2018.

They said in several statements that the U.S. "deal of the century" falls way short of their expectations and aspirations for lasting and just peace settlement.