PA threatens to force Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria

PA blasts Israel for its “settlement attack”, calls on the international community to force Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria.
By Dalit Halevi
First Publish: 1/26/2016, 5:14 AM

Mhamoud Abbas
Mhamoud Abbas
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday blasted Israel for its “settlement attack” and threatened to force a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria on Israel.

In a statement, the PA’s Foreign Ministry condemned the "the institutional settlement attack on the land of the State of Palestine," and especially in the old city of Hevron, as was evident in what the statement described as “the break-in of the settlers into two houses and forcefully taking over them while being secured by the occupation's army."

The message called this activity "another stage in the gradual Judaization of Hevron's old city and the expulsion of the Palestinians from it", and argues that "the escalation of settlement activity in Jerusalem, Hevron, the Jordan Valley and elsewhere...is contrary to the two-state solution and promotes a religious war in the region."

In an appeal to the international community, the PA Foreign Ministry asked that a more vigorous approach be adopted to force Israel to "end the occupation of Palestinian land" and to stop the settlement and Israel’s unilateral steps.

The Foreign Ministry added that it maintains contacts with various countries to promote UN resolutions that would order the cessation of the “settlements”, the convening of an international conference on peace and provide international protection to the Palestinian people.

The statement claiming that the PA is planning yet another unilateral move at the UN follows recent reports that the PA was trying to advance a resolution in the UN Security Council that will condemn Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and declare them illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

Senior Palestinian and Israeli officials told Haaretz recently that the PA has been in contact with France, Spain and Egypt, all members of the Security Council, to get them to draw up such a resolution and support it.

In 2014, the PA submitted a resolution to the UN which called for Israel to “end the occupation” - that is, to withdraw from Judea and Samaria - by 2017.

The draft resolution would have set a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement and the end of 2017 as the time frame for completing an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

The resolution was put to a vote in the UN Security Council late last year, but failed to secure enough votes in favor to pass. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas later said he would go to the UN again and try to have a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria imposed on Israel.