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Arab League condemns settlement expansion

February 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

The Council of the Arab League has condemned strongly the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories. In a statement issued at the end of the council’s extraordinary meeting on Sunday, it warned of the consequences of Israel’s aggressive and expansionist policies aimed at changing the geographical and demographic make-up of the occupied territories.

The permanent members of the council, headed on this occasion by Lebanon, said that the Arab League regards such policies and practices to be “blatant aggression” against the Palestinian state at the level of “war crimes” and Israel should be prosecuted accordingly.

Stressing that all Israeli actions are generally carried out unilaterally, and the geographic and demographic changes in the occupied Palestinian territories are void, the Arab League group said that they also constitute a violation of international law, international legitimacy and UN resolutions. The latter still affirm the illegality of Israeli settlements, and the League says that Israel needs to dismantle the existing settlements, remove the apartheid wall, stop the Judaisation of Jerusalem, lift the checkpoints between West Bank cities, and end the unjust siege on Gaza.

The Council members also called on the Arab League in New York to pursue a binding resolution from the UN Security Council condemning Israel’s expansionist schemes and implying an end to all forms of settlement activities, including those announced recently which threaten to separate Jerusalem from the West Bank completely. The Arab League believes that the Security Council  should stress formally the illegality of settlements and reiterate the fact that they constitute a violation of international law, UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.