A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee has warned of plans to create "Greater Israel" at the expense of the Palestinian people and their rights. Hanan Ashrawi said that the Israeli occupation authorities seek to destroy the Palestinians and erase evidence of their existence.
In an exclusive statement to Quds Press, Ms Ashrawi said that Israel intends to weaken the Palestinian Authority through practical actions on the ground, such as creating chaos and convincing the world that there is no Palestinian partner for peace. The aim is to replace the Palestinians with Jewish settlers while achieving the ultimate Zionist aim of a Greater Israel on all of historic Palestine.
"The continued existence of the Palestinian Authority with a will to survive represents a major challenge and an obstacle in the face of the plans for Greater Israel," said Ms Ashrawi. "Israel is always looking for justifications for its policy to destroy the Palestinian Authority and its institutions."
Calling for a series of practical steps to deal with the Israeli policies, Ms Ashrawi highlighted "self-empowerment through reconciliation, strengthening international relations and working on the accountability of Israel in international forums and the Criminal Court" as practical steps that must be taken. She noted that the Middle East Quartet faces a real test concerning Israeli practices after its announcement of a new peace process.
The veteran PLO member called for clear parameters of international protection for Palestine and the Palestinians. This, she said, needs in-depth study to determine the mechanisms so that it doesn't get bogged-down as a generalised stance.