Palestine on Wednesday slammed Israel over its intention to build thousands of new settlement units in north of East Jerusalem.
Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saleh Raafat said in a press statement that the international community’s silence over Israel’s settlement expansion will also lead to the end of the two-state solution.
“With rapid escalation in land confiscation and the settlement expansion in the Palestinian territory, Israel is ending any chance for peace on the basis of the two-state solution,” Raafat said.
He added that Israel’s steps are based on the U.S. Middle East peace plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century,” which was unraveled by U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 28.
The plan was immediately rejected by the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Ministry described the Israeli settlement project as an “insolent” attempt to alter the geography in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“If completed, such a project would isolate Jerusalem totally from its north, with the aim to connect all settlements in north of the city to one another in the occupied West Bank, which would eliminate any chance to establish a sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state,” the ministry said.
Israel has advanced a plan to build 9,000 settlement units in annexed East Jerusalem, which is the first project in this scale in the city in more than 20 years, according to Israeli watchdog Peace Now.
The plan was announced a day after Israeli Transportation Ministry approved a controversial project to extend a train line from Tel Aviv into East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israeli settlement activity is considered illegal under international law and has been one of the major hurdles to the stalled peace talks between Palestine and Israel since 2014.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in November 2019 that the U.S. government will no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements “inconsistent” with international law, in a move believed to further dim the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Enditem