Hanan Ashrawi, executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), yesterday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being "more committed to settlement expansion then to peace."
In a statement released after Netanyahu gave a speech at an event entitled "50 years of settlement in Judea and Samaria", using the Israeli term for the occupied West Bank.
"Netanyahu's speech in which he declared that the illegal settlements will not be removed attests to his intransigence and wilful refusal to abide by international law and conventions, standing UN resolutions, and global consensus," Ashrawi said, calling Netanyahu arrogant and accusing him "turning such international norms into a mockery."
Israel is more committed to enhancing the extremist Jewish settler population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians than to abiding by the basic requirements for peace and justice
The committee member went on to urge the international community to hold Israel accountable for its continued settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territory, and for "its destruction of the very foundations of the two-state solution and peace".
"The Israeli government is working to impose 'Greater Israel' on all of historic Palestine by annexing all of Jerusalem, erasing the history, narrative and physical presence of the Palestinian people, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the West Bank," Ashrawi said.
There are some 196 illegal Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory in addition to hundreds of unauthorised Israeli settler outposts which are considered illegal even under Israeli law.