RAMALLAH, February 17, 2014 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Foreign Ministry Tuesday strongly condemned the latest Israeli authorities’ decision to take over around 500 dunums of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem for the benefit of establishing a solid waste landfill.
The ministry, in a statement, expressed grave concern over the Israeli decision which is part of the Israeli settlement scheme in and around East Jerusalem, also known as E1 plan.
E1 is a 12-square-kilometer plot home to over 10 Bedouin communities, such as Jahalin and Sawahreh. Israel claims E1 is mostly an empty mountainous area with few communities, but hundreds of those Bedouins have known no other home and continue to raise cattle there as the only source of living.
Israel’s main interest in E1 is to expand the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, in which over 40,000 settlers already illegally take residence, and connect it to East Jerusalem.
Emptying the area from its residents and turning it into Israeli settlements would ultimately divide the Palestinian territories into half, making any two-state solution unfeasible.
The ministry further denounced the Israeli forces’ continued targeting and demolishing of the protest set up camp in East Jerusalem, also known as ‘Gate of Jerusalem’.
It held the Israeli government fully responsible for its decision, warning it of the increasing settlement actions and attempts to change the character of Jerusalem and turn it into an exclusive place for Jews.
It called upon the international community and quartet as well as the member states of the United Nations to promptly intervene and put an end to Israel’s settlement plans that could only undermine the two-state solution and possible peace efforts.
It demanded an international decision to be taken in order to force Israel to stop its settlement expansion and compel it to respect international law and the will of international peace through negotiations.