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Palestinian Authority Resorts to U.N. after Netanyahu’s Claims on Settlements | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Israeli soldier stands guard next to Palestinian workers who were transported out of the Tekoa settlement, south of al-Quds (Jerusalem), January 18, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Ramallah- Palestine authorities said that they are working at top speed for addressing the U.N. Security Council on statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Jewish right to build and occupy Palestinian territory and Jerusalem.

The Palestinian National Authority presidency considered Netanyahu’s statements a clear violation to international law and diminishing to regional and global efforts for achieving peace.

Resorting to the U.N. Security Council, United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov had made comments on Israel ignoring calls urging the halt of settlement expansion.

Mladenov said that the illegal progress on settlements threatens peace in the region.

The envoy noted that recommendations offered by the so-called Middle East Quartet – the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the U.N. – on the way forward in the peace process have been ignored, pointing to a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions of Palestinian buildings as an example of this. The Quartet’s recommendations include an end to Israel’s settlement policy and a halt to Palestine’s incitement to violence.

He reported that since July 1, Israel has advanced plans for over 1,000 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem – in Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramot, Har Homa, and Gilo – as well as 735 units in Ma’ale Adumim and other settlements in the West Bank.

Israel has also published tenders, some new, for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements and reissued tenders for 42 units in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, he added, fofr which it also allocated more than $13 million in new funding.

All of these and other plans would essentially create new illegal settlements, and it is difficult to read in such actions a genuine intention to work towards a viable solution, the U.N. envoy said, calling on Israel to cease and reverse these decisions.

On the other hand, Netanyahu ridiculed the envoy’s remarks and stressed Israel’s alleged rights to build in Jerusalem.

Nickolay Mladenov’s comments to the U.N. Security Council “distort history and international law and push peace farther away,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace,” Netanyahu said.

“The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish People’s connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there.”

Netanyahu’s stances were not well received by Palestinian authorities who had resorted to the Security Council seeking justice.

Comments made by the Israeli prime minister defies the U.N. General Assembly’s December 29 decision in 2012 which acknowledged the state of Palestine according to the 1967 perimeters, with eastern Jerusalem being the state’s capital.