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Israel’s new colony plans draw condemnation

Arab media say occupation undermines prospects of the two-state solution

Image Credit: UPI
A Palestinian stands on his property overlooking the Israeli settlement Har Homa, West Bank, February 18, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in an attempt to prevent the upcoming vote on an United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements. The Palestinian Authority and other Arab nations have pushed for the UN Security Council to vote on the resolution which is scheduled to take place today. UPI/Debbie Hill
Gulf News

Israel’s announcement on its construction of a new colony in the West Bank was the topic that dominated headlines in the region’s papers.

The intensification of colonisation in occupied Palestinian lands and the Judaisation of Jerusalem represent a threat to international security and stability, said Qatar’s Al Sharq.

“This threat lies in the new colonial project that was approved recently by the Israeli government, which took it upon itself to blast away all peace efforts through this new project that will be implemented in the West Bank for the first time in 25 years. The project blatantly disregards international resolutions calling for [the resolution of] the Palestinian issue through a two-state solution. The move by the Zionist entity was met with widespread international condemnation, which Israel pays little heed to as it persists on continuing its colonial and racial segregation policies against the Palestinian people. This calls for [intensification of] efforts and a unified Arab stand to put an end to Israel’s arrogance.”

The new colony project in the West Bank was met with condemnation, and undermines the prospects of the two-state solution, said the UAE’s Al Khaleej.

“If Israel has no interest in the two-state solution, then the other option would be to merge the West Bank with Israel, and that move in itself poses a danger to the Zionist entity and western interests. If the West Bank is merged, such a move would necessitate expelling the Palestinians from their lands so that the entire situation is not viewed as a one-state demographic occupation. The other option is the establishment of an apartheid entity in its complete form that none of the states in the West will never be able to defend, or be able to bear its consequences on a political, moral and security level.”

In light of the new colonies announcement, the Saudi Gazette said that nobody is accommodating the Palestinians who need and deserve to have their wishes and dreams prioritised before anyone else.

“It is being reported that Israel would never have taken such a decision without making sure that the new US administration would agree to it. But it could also be that the new Israeli colony blind-sided the US administration. How else to explain White House envoy Jason Greenblatt already making two visits to the region, including attending the Arab summit in Jordan, in hopes of renewing peace talks for the first time since 2014? Israel has been truncating and carving out Palestinian land for decades, building illegal [colonies] in violation of international law. And yet, the people who are under occupation, whose land is being parceled out right and left to others, are left to struggle with little help.”

Israel has mastered the art of finding excuses to reject Arabs’ offer of peace, and this time it was no exception, said the Jordan Times.

“This latest decision to build the colony is yet another act of Israeli defiance, both of Palestinian rights and of international law, which endorses the two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict and which considers Israel an occupier. Since Washington holds the key to the problem, unless it takes a decisive position, conforms with international legitimacy, against Israel’s colonial activities and myriad other abuses, the latter will not stop its illegal acts.”

Israel’s latest crime is the decision to establish a new colony for the first time deep in the West Bank, in an area that is isolated and could never be a contiguous part of Israel under the two-state solution, said Lebanon’s Daily Star.

“On the same day Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu ordered limitations on colony expansion after an appeal by US President Donald Trump, even as bulldozers have started excavating land to build the new colony. Meanwhile, the frustrated Palestinians are waiting to see whether the 22 Arab states will follow through on the unanimous commitment they made a week ago to safeguard Palestinian rights and activate efforts to deny Israel a free hand in the occupied land.”