A leading member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee has condemned the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem for their structural map proposals for the Holy City. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi says that the map, which intends to unite occupied East and West Jerusalem and sets out rules for construction and the expansion of Jewish settlements in occupied territory, is "nothing but an acceleration of Israeli plans to Judaise Jerusalem and empty it of its indigenous people".
In a press statement obtained by Quds Press, Dr. Ashrawi warned of the serious consequences if this map is ratified. "This scheme is in line with Israeli plans for the complete seizure of the city," she said. "This goes beyond an issue of ratifying the expansion of Jewish neighbourhoods and demolishing or building houses," she added, "it has to be seen in the context of population expulsion and ethnic cleansing."
She described the Israeli proposals as "a slap in the face of US envoy George Mitchell". Mr. Mitchell is due in the region soon. The Israelis, claims Dr. Ashrawi, are not only making a defiant stand against the Arabs and Palestinians but also the international community.
"The Israeli cabinet is clearly working against any progress in talks with the Palestinians and is the biggest obstacle facing the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," she said.
Dr. Ashrawi called for strong action to end ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestinians, especially those in Jerusalem who are suffering from isolation and face the threat of deportation from their city.