Ashrawi: “Time to End Occupation and Establish Palestinian State”
The escalation of the illegal settlement enterprise poses the single greatest threat to peace and stability, and it sends a clear message to all members of the international community that Israel is interested only in expansionism and control.
PNN/ Ramallah. Jan 28. 2015
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with a visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah. The IMF representatives included Christoph Duenwald, the Mission Chief for the West Bank and Gaza, and Ragnar Gudmundsson, the Resident Representative for the West Bank and Gaza.
The discussion focused on the dire economic situation in Palestine as a whole, particularly in Gaza where neither relief nor development is in effect due to the continued Israeli blockade and the fact that much of the pledged support has not materialized. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continues to suffer from Israeli measures, including Israeli theft of land and Palestinian resources, and total Israeli control over the freedom of movement, people and goods.
Dr. Ashrawi said, “Institution and nation-building cannot proceed without a clear plan to end the occupation and to establish the sovereign and independent Palestinian state.”
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi provided an assessment of Israel’s violations of international law, including the continued construction of illegal settlements, apartheid walls and checkpoints, the displacement of Palestinians, the revocation of Jerusalem IDs, home demolitions, the complete political, social and economic transformation of Jerusalem and its isolation from its Palestinians environs, the annexation and ethnic cleansing of Area C, and Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues.
Dr. Ashrawi stressed how such violations destroy the Palestinian economy, and in that context, she denounced the Israeli Housing and Construction Ministry’s allocation of $215,000 to expand the illegal settlement of Efrat:
“Such actions are not part new of a new strategy; this latest announcement targets the entire Bethlehem area and the Jerusalem environment and completes the destruction of the territorial contiguity of the West Bank.
The escalation of the illegal settlement enterprise poses the single greatest threat to peace and stability, and it sends a clear message to all members of the international community that Israel is interested only in expansionism and control.”