PALESTINIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY TO WORLD: STOP ISSUING USELESS CONDEMNATIONS

israeli settlement west bank

A strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “relieves world from issuing useless condemnations against Israeli settlement” activities.

The statement comes on the heels of Israeli government announcements of 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, only days after a spike in illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes. These tenders are for “320 new housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, [the claimed Palestinian capital]…770 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood…more than 500 new units in Ma’ale Adumim and 42 in Kiryat Arba,”Haaretz reported.

The United States, EU, UK, Germany, France, and the UN have all condemned the announcement. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said “we are deeply concerned,” and “we strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.”

Perhaps it is the stale predictably of such reactions that led the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to blast them as “repetitive,” bearing no significant “weight or pressure” that would help stop the illegal expansion of settlements:

“If these countries believe they absolve themselves from responsibility regarding Israel’s persistent violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the settlements policy, through issuing condemnations or expressing concerns, then we assure them that such automated and repetitive responses are no longer needed,” the Ministry statement reads. 

The statement marks an increased sense of frustration for Palestinian leadership, which has always maintained a low-key diplomatic tone, not least because of some UN Security Council members’ obstruction to adopt a resolution that would set a timeline for negotiations. Another recent source of grievance concerning the US favored multilateral process is the failure of international Quartet report, issued early July, to provide substantial policy prescriptions beyond merely documenting the situation on the ground. A senior PLO official close to President Abbas said that “for us the Quartet report is a non-paper,” Al-Monitor reported.

“These countries know very well that Israel is familiar with the details of their positions on the issue of settlements, and that their positions will not exceed condemnation,” continues the statement, creating a state of “conformity” that allows Israel to live with such reactions without being challenged.

The statement then turns to the bilateral relations many countries of the condemning type have with Israel, stressing that “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”

(Source / 02.08.2016)

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Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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