By Samir Bennis
By Samir Bennis
Morocco World News
New York, August 16, 2011
The Arab League condemned on Tuesday the decision of Israel to continue its settlement policy by allowing the construction of 4,300 new homes in East Jerusalem, the Maghreb Arab Press news agency reported today.
In a statement, the Arab League described as “destructive” by Israel its continued settlement policy in the Palestinian territories, noting that these activities are designed to undermine the two-state solution and the Arab and international efforts to calm the situation.
In this regard, the pan-Arab organization called for an “immediate cessation of all activities affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”
The Arab League also urged the international community, particularly the Security Council of the UN to assume its responsibilities by putting pressure on Israel to honor its commitments and respect international legitimacy, the provisions of international law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The Arab League reiterated the call for the international community to support the Arab initiative to recognize the State of Palestine at the next UN General Assembly, scheduled for September.
Last Thursday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, described Israel’s housing plans as “provocative action” that undermines international efforts to foster peace talks between it and the Palestinians.
“If confirmed, this provocative action undermines ongoing efforts by the international community to bring the parties back to negotiations,” he said in a statement released last Thursday.
The continuation of these illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories has led to the impasse in the peace process, stalled since late October 2010, in particular following the failure of U.S. mediation and the refusal by Israel to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
This failure was reflected in particular by the resignation of U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, who had recognized the difficulty of his mission faced with a hard line Israeli government that shows little interest in reaching a compromise with the Palestinians.
Editing by Ahmad Azizi