Palestinians to launch protests against U.S. declaration over Israeli settlements

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-25 03:13:53|Editor: ZX
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RAMALLAH, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian officials on Sunday declared launch of protests against the latest remarks by United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Officials of various factions and parties said that the protests will kick off with a "Day of Rage" on Tuesday, a day of protests to take place at military checkpoints throughout the West Bank.

The coordinator of National and Islamic faction in Ramallah city, Issam Baker, told Xinhua that the factions have held meetings with civil society organizations to decide on popular steps rejecting the latest declaration by Washington.

Fatah party member Abbas Zaki said that the popular movements are aimed at "putting an end to Israel's practices on the ground, its settlement activity, killings and settler violence and their violations against Palestinians."

He told Xinhua that the popular protests will take place in parallel with official movements by the Palestinian leadership at the United Nations, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Arab and Islamic organizations, to halt the Israeli and U.S. measures supporting settlements.

Meanwhile, deputy chairperson of Fatah party, Mahmoud Aloul, said in a press statement following a meeting with his party members earlier on Sunday that the party has decided on the "main points for a struggle program and movement on the ground," to counter the U.S. administration and the Israeli government measures, which "continue to violate the rights of Palestinian people and are committing crimes against us."

Aloul said that the Palestinian leadership is mulling ways "to protect the Palestinian cause."

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat told the official Palestinian radio station, Voice of Palestine, that Palestine will raise all outstanding issues to the ICC general commission expected next month.

He said that Palestine will ask the ICC judicial council to open an investigation into the "crimes of the Israeli occupation, and publish the database of companies dealing with products manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlements."

He added that international human rights organizations should "defend human rights and combat war crimes and not be subject to any political blackmail from any country."

Last Week, Pompeo said that the United States considers "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law," and that the United States was not weighing in on the legality of any individual settlement, leaving that to Israeli courts.

He also said that this should not be read as a statement on the final status of the West Bank, which is "for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate."

Around half a million Israeli settlers live in the West Bank settlements, including East Jerusalem.

Israeli settlement activity is deemed illegal by most world powers and under international law. It is considered one of the issues that hindered the peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis, which collapsed in 2014.

Political ties between the United States and Palestine have been severed right after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in December 2017.