Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Israel intends to build luxury apartments over illegally occupied land despite condemnation from the International Community. The Shepherd hotel was established in the 1930’s, once home to Jerusalem’s Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. An attempt to destroy this historical building is an act to erase the Palestinian history and identity and undermine peace efforts. The larger Israeli settlement enterprise seeks territorial expansion in which the number of Palestinians residing is reduced. The design fragments Palestinian neighbourhoods, separating the community with the ultimate aim of annexing the Old City and its environs to Israel proper.
Nearly 500,000 settlers live in over 100 settlements built on Palestinian land since the illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. Israel is prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention from building settlements and transferring their own civilian population. Israel has therefore, no legal right to confiscate private Palestinian land.
The illegal settlement activity pursued by Israel stalled the U.S sponsored peace negotiations last year thus defying the American Administration’s attempt to revive the peace talks. In a statement by U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, criticising the illegal settlement activity by saying this "undermines peace efforts to achieve the two states - solution".
Israeli settlement activity policies are an outright attempt to cleanse Jerusalem and the other Palestinian cities of its indigenous inhabitants, its heritage and history, which ultimately would lead to a major disaster and insecurity in the Middle East region. We call on the International Community to act in holding Israel accountable for its breach of Palestinian rights, primarily in view of its escalated colonization in East Jerusalem.
Amb. Prof. Manuel Hassassian
Palestinian General Delegation
5 Galena Road
Hammersmith W6 0LT
Tel: 020 8563 0008
Fax: 020 8563 0058