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PCHR strongly condemns new Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns new Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank. PCHR reiterates that settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitute a war crime, and calls upon the international community to fulfill their obligations stipulated in Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure Israel's respect to the Convention and to ensure the application of the Convention in the OPT. The international community's inaction to take a strict position with respect to the impunity granted to Israel encourages Israel to commit further violations of the International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. According to data collected by PCHR on Israeli settlement activities, on Monday, 7 September 2009, a ceremony was organized to lay the foundation of a new settlement neighborhood called "Mfsarit Adomim" in the "E1" zone between "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement and the eastern city of occupied Jerusalem. This ceremony took place after an agreement between the Israeli police and the municipality of "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement was approved by the Israeli Supreme Court. The municipality of "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement had submitted an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court as the police had issued an order to prevent the organization of the ceremony. Ministers Daniel Herkovitch and Ozi Landaw, Knesset Members Ori Ariel; Zpholon Orleif; Ori Orbakh; Dani Danoun and Ze'ef Alken, the head of the municipality of "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement, Bani Kesrael, and the leaders of the Settlement Council in the West Bank attended the ceremony. It is reported that there are plans to establish 3,000 housing units. According to statements by the head of the municipality of "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement, there are 37,000 settlers in "Ma'alleih Adomim" settlement and that the settlement needs 600 new housing units every year. On 6 September 2009, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ihoud Barak, signed a part of the construction plans that had been announced recently. The Miniature Council of Ministers (the Sixfold Council) met to discuss the distribution of between 450 and 500 housing units that had been approved by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ben Yamin Nataniaho, on 6 September 2009. The establishment of the approved unit was decided to be in different settlements, including "Har Ghilo" in the south of Jerusalem, "Mode'in 'Elit" in the west of Ramalla city and "Ariel" in the north of Salfit city. The "Peace Now" Movement reported that few days ago, the Israeli government had finished the preparations to establish dozens of housing units in the north of the Valleys in the east of the West Bank. The "Peace Now" Movement stated that it was reported that there are 100 housing units that are being established. These units had been approved by former Israeli Minister of Defense, Amir Beirets, in 2006 and by Minister of Defense, Ihoud Barak, in 2008. The Israeli government continues to approve the establishment of new housing units in settlements. According to the above, PCHR condemns all the Israeli settlement activities and plans in the West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem, and: Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, individually or collectively, to take their moral and legal responsibilities, fulfill their obligations stipulated in Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ensure Israel's respect to the Convention and to ensure the application of the Convention in the OPT. PCHR notes that the conspiracy of silence by the international community encourages Israel to act as a State above the law and to commit further violations of the International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law, including the establishment of a Jewish majority in the eastern city of occupied Jerusalem. Demands the international community to promptly and urgently take action to compel the government of Israel to put an end to all of its settlement activities in the OPT, especially in the eastern city of occupied Jerusalem, and to remove its settlements from the OPT. The Israeli settlements in the OPT constitute a war crime under the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law. Calls upon the European Union and/or the EU Member States to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israeli Association Agreement. This Article provides for Israel's respect for human rights in order that the economic cooperation between Israel and the EU continues. PCHR calls upon all the EU States to boycott all the Israeli goods, especially those produced in the Israeli settlements that are established in the OPT.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Date:Sep 8, 2009
Words:746
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