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PLO Official Says Israel 'Destroying Two-State Solution'

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi charges Israel of destroying the two-state solution with its expansionist settlement policy in Jerusalem.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/15/2012, 6:39 AM

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi
PLO official Hanan Ashrawi
Flash 90

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi accused Israel on Monday of singlehandedly destroying the two-state solution with its expansionist settlement policy in and around Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority-based WAFA news agency reported.

Ashrawi made the comments as she spoke to diplomatic representatives and journalists at a meal marking the end of the Ramadan fast day.

“With its legislation of illegal laws that contravene international law, Israel is alienating Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian life, from its environs and indigenous people,” she said.

“The evacuation and transformation of the occupied city’s geography, culture, heritage and institutions are taking place internally and externally, and the extremist Israeli government is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing, not just with the confiscation of IDs but also with its racist marriage and reunion laws, whereby families are divided and unable to live together in Jerusalem,” accused Ashrawi.

“Israel is singlehandedly destroying the two-state solution with the continuation of its expansionist settlement policies in and around Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the eviction of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and the closure of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem,” she claimed, adding, “All of these illegal actions are in direct violation of signed agreements and international conventions.”

Ashrawi stressed that “without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, there will be no Palestinian state, and without a Palestinian state, there will be no peace or stability in the region.”

She appealed to the international community to support the PA’s renewed bid for statehood in the United Nations and to intervene in Israeli measures that are destroying all chances for peace and stability.

“In light of the failed peace process and the inability of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal occupation of Palestine and its countless unilateral violations of international and humanitarian law, Palestinians will persist in their efforts to seek state status, whether in the UN Security Council or in the UN General Assembly,” she stressed.

“We reserve the right to undertake diplomatic and nonviolent means to approach UN agencies and organizations for membership, and such efforts, consistent with the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and freedom, are a test of global consensus and rule of law. Even though the timing has yet to be determined, we are coordinating our efforts with Arab and Muslim countries, as well as with the international community,” she added.

Saeb Erekat, a member of the Fatah’s Central Committee and the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, recently said that the Arab ministerial council will discuss the PA's next bid to the United Nations for recognition as a state on September 5.

The PA currently has observer status at the UN and an upgrade by the General Assembly to “non-member” would give Palestine recognition as a “state”. This could open the way for PA Arabs to take legal action against Israelis through the International Criminal Court.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki recently said that Arab countries support a unilateral PA bid for statehood recognition in the UN General Assembly.

PA officials often blame Israel for the stalemate in peace negotiations, failing to mention that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has continuously chosen to avoid resuming negotiations, choosing instead to continue to impose preconditions for talks.

Abbas has constantly demanded that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.

Israel froze construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem for ten months in 2009 at the request of the United States, in an attempt to bring the sides back to the negotiating table. Abbas chose not to resume talks.

In September 2011, Abbas applied for full UN membership at the UN Security Council. Israel and the U.S. staunchly opposed the bid, which failed due to a lack of support in the 15-member council.