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Arab League accuses Israel of systematic land grab

The Arab League has accused Israel of pursuing a systematic policy to control most of the West Bank for future annexation and settlements. The lands in question belong mainly to Palestinian villagers and are used for agricultural purposes and grazing.


A statement by the Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories Section at the Arab League said that Israel is confiscating this land by force, using the maximum level of violence against the Palestinian owners. By way of example, the League noted the incident within the past few days in Yatta, near Hebron. Israeli forces destroyed wells and houses as well as replacement tents put up by the residents as they fought to stay on their land. The Israelis used "skunk" water cannons, with polluted water, and physical violence to remove the villagers.

Stressing that Israeli laws passed in order to justify the land grab policy contravene international law, the Arab League said that the issue requires intervention by the world community. It called specifically on the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Middle East Quartet and human rights organisations to put an end to Israel's criminal actions which threaten international peace and security. The League also noted that such acts by Israel are on the increase and intensify whenever there are moves to put the peace process back on track by ending settlement activity and determining a time frame for progress. Clearly, it says, Israel is trying to forestall any attempts to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict. A firm stand is needed to save the two-state solution, it added.

The statement also urged the EU to block any funding that helps to establish or expand illegal settlements which exist in the face of multiple UN resolutions. Moreover, it reminded the world bodies that the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Israeli "apartheid" wall concluded that the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, is a violation of international law.

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