Palestine Decries UK, Aussie Reservations on Paris Meet

Head of the PLO executive committee and Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.


Ramallah, Palestine, 18 Rabiul Akhir 1438/17 January 2017 (MINA) – Saeb Erekat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s executive committee, has criticized the decision by the U.K. and Australia not to sign a final declaration issued at Sunday’s Paris-hosted Mideast peace conference, Anadolu Agency reported.

In a Monday statement released by his office, Erekat described the move as “unfortunate”, saying it would only encourage Israel to “maintain its rejection of a two-state solution”.

“The two-state solution is jeopardized by decisions that encourage Israel [to reject it] and allow Israel to continue its policy of occupation,” Erekat added
The U.K. and Australia had both voiced reservations over the outcome of the Paris conference, which was attended by neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives.

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On Sunday, representatives of more than 70 countries and organizations attended the event in the French capital, where they called for a resumption of the moribund Palestine-Israel peace process.


‘Ethnic cleansing’

In a related development Monday, Adnan al-Husseini, Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, accused Israel of pursuing a policy of “ethnic cleansing” against Jerusalem’s Palestinian inhabitants.

“The Israeli occupation authorities have recently demolished numerous Palestinian homes [in Jerusalem] on the pretext they were built illegally,” al-Husseini said.

“Israel wants to uproot and expel the largest number of Palestinians from their homes with a view to building more illegal settlements [on expropriated Arab land],” he added.

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Israel occupied the West Bank — including East Jerusalem — during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building on the land as illegal.

Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to “Judaize” the historic city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)