Erekat: Israel Expansion in East Jerusalem 'Entrenches Occupation'

Top PA negotiator condemns Israel's decision to build 900 new homes in Har Homa, says illegal, goes against International Law and International Humanitarian Law.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned on Friday Israel's recent decision to expand the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, saying Netanyahu's government is "determined to invest solely in the entrenchment of the occupation, rather than peace."

Erekat called Israel's approval of the construction of 900 new homes illegal, saying that by going ahead with its plan to build "Israel makes clear its intention to turn this occupation into an effective annexation.”

Saeb Erekat - 6.7.11
Natasha Mozgovaya

The Palestinian negotiator went on to say that all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories go against both International Law and International Humanitarian Law, adding that continued expansion is "a flagrant violation of the International Roadmap, which was consecrated in UN Security Council resolution 1515."

Erekat slammed Israel for its "disrespect and disdain to the international community," who has called on Israel to cease settlement building. He accused Israel of intentionally sabotaging international efforts to reach a negotiated two-state solution.

He then said there is an international consensus that the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is to end the Israeli occupation by creating a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Israel is armed with the impunity brought on by decades of international leniency and lack of consequences to its illegal actions. It is now the responsibility of the international community to make clear that it will no longer tolerate this impunity and destructive consequences," Erekat said.

The Palestinian negotiator implored the international community to protect the two-state solution and fight Israel's "expansionist agenda" by investing in peace. He called on world leaders to support the Palestinians' bid for recognition and admission at the United Nations in September, saying this is the "constructive response to this destructive policy."

Erekat invited the world to "unite in consecrating the two-state solution by recognizing Palestine on the 1967 borders and admitting Palestine as a full member of the UN.”