Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a desperate speech at the United Nations, accused Israel of a systematic violation of the Oslo Accords and a stubborn attempt to finally do away with the two-state solution. By coincidence, Israel’s response came the same day: authorization for illegal outposts in the West Bank, which proves the justice of Abbas’ claims.
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The message from a government that whitewashes additional outposts is unambiguous: yes to continued occupation, no to a two-state solution. There’s no other way to interpret it.
In responding to a petition by rights group Yesh Din, the state said it intended to legalize all the outposts in the Shiloh area. This region amounts to six square kilometers and four outposts – Adei Ad, Kida, Esh Kodesh and Ahiya.
The area contains hundreds of unlawfully built houses, some of which were put up on private Palestinian land. No fewer than 150 files relating to illegal construction have been opened against the residents of Adei Ad alone, but over 16 years only five enforcement measures have been taken. Now the government intends to reward these lawbreakers and encourage others.
The message is clear: more land robbing and more construction with abandon. No one will enforce the law in this unruly land beyond the Green Line, an area that has spawned violent settlers against whom dozens of investigations have been opened on suspicions of assault on their Palestinian neighbors and their property.
Beyond the issue of the fate of these outposts, which should never have been built and which any law-abiding country would have removed long ago, stark questions arise about the government’s image and true intentions.
There is no more doubt regarding the ambition driving this government: to completely thwart a two-state solution, to further entrench the occupation until it becomes irreversible — assuming that’s not already the case — and to prevent any possibility of a deal with the Palestinians based on a partition of the land. This is exactly what Abbas said at the United Nations.