Official says US encourages Israeli settlement activities

RAMALLAH, The United States uned support for Israel, particularly its settlement activities, has encourage Israel to proceed with settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories in clear violation of international law, a Palestinian official said on Thursday.

Ahmad Majdalani, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was commenting on an the Israeli plan to increase the number of settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem to one million, which he said has become closer to reality due to US support for the Israeli government.

He told Voice of Palestine radio that the US administration’s support for Israeli settlements has encourage the sharp rise in its settlement activities, which the US apparently does not consider to be a violation of international law.

Majdalani said the settlements undermine the peace process and will destroy the two-state solution, which the US is facilitating by the facts created on the ground by the American and Israeli governments.

Khalil Toufakji, a Palestinian expert on settlements, told Voice of Palestine radio that Israel has started to implement a settlement plan decided on in 1979 and which calls for settling one million Israelis in the West Bank by 2020.

He said the Israeli media is reporting on these plans, warning that the US support for Israel is going to lead to the displacement and uprooting of Palestinians and replacing them with Jewish settlers.

Israel announced on Wednesday its intention to build 2070 new settlement units on land where the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, is currently located and which the Israeli Supreme Court recently gave the green light to the government to demolish it.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency