News / Middle East

Palestinians: Israeli Settlement Plans Cross 'Red Line'

FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit.  Israel approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a government of
FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit. Israel approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a government of
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said Wednesday that if Israel continues its settlement expansion plans to the sensitive “E-1” area east of Jerusalem, the action would cross Palestinian “red lines” and the Palestinian Authority would seek redress at the International Criminal Court.

When the Palestinian Authority gained enhanced status as an observer-state in a U.N. General Assembly vote on November 29, the move opened the door for it to join several international organizations, conventions and treaties.  Among those treaties is the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

During the monthly Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki reiterated his government’s frustration with the expansion of Israeli settlements, particularly in the wake of the November 29 vote.  He is heard here through an interpreter.

“We reiterate once again, before your august council, what is abundantly clear under international law: all Israeli settlement activities are illegal.  Regardless of whether it is one settlement unit or thousands of units; whether it is one settlement or an outpost; regardless of the pretext, these are all illegal,” Malki said.

The Palestinian Authority could ask the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes for constructing settlements on occupied land.

Foreign Minister Malki told reporters after the council meeting that if Israel builds housing in the sensitive so-called “E-1” area east of Jerusalem, that it would cross Palestinian “red lines” and the Palestinian Authority would take the matter to the court at The Hague.

“If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E-1 plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem, then yes, we will be going to the ICC.  We have no other choice.  It depends on Israeli decision.  Israel knows very well our position.  President Mahmoud Abbas has said that any construction in E-1 or the surrounding [area] is considered to be trespassing the red lines and we are not going to tolerate, absolutely not going to tolerate, any construction in that particular area,” Malki said.

Palestinians say Israeli construction in the E-1 area at the center of the West Bank would make it impossible for them to form a state with viable borders and would block Arab access to East Jerusalem.  Israeli supporters of the plan downplay those concerns.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month that "there will be construction" in the E-1 zone, which lies between East Jerusalem and a major West Bank Jewish settlement.  But he said it will take time for Israel to complete the planning process for 3,000 housing units.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said that Washington opposes Israel’s proposed E-1 construction plans, telling the Security Council that they would be “especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution” and that U.S. officials had urged Israeli leaders to reconsider this decision.

But she also reiterated Washington’s displeasure at the Palestinians' elevated U.N. status, saying the United States does not consider the November 29 General Assembly vote to have bestowed “statehood or recognition” on the Palestinians, and that the only route to statehood is through direct negotiations.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid