(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday rejected Israel’s decision to end the mandate of the international observers in Hebron and said the move was in violation of agreements signed under the auspices of the international community.
“We will not allow the continuation of an International force that acts against us,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Monday about the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said that the decision was “unacceptable” and called on the international community to “take a clear position toward this dangerous Israeli stance.” He also called for extorting pressure on the Israeli government to abide by the agreement on the presence of the TIPH observers in Hebron.
“By ignoring all signed agreements and refusing to fulfil its commitments, Israel is insisting on creating a climate of escalation, tension and chaos in the region - the consequences of which can’t be foreseen,” Abu Rudaineh said. “This is proof for the International community that Israel does not honour the resolutions of international legitimacy. It’s also a continuation of Israel’s policy of escalation against our people and land.”
The PA Foreign Ministry also weighed in on Netanyahu’s decision and said it was an attempt to “hide the crimes of the Israeli occupation and its settlers.”
The ministry said in a statement that Israel does not want the presence of any International missions “out of fear that they would expose its crimes and violations against our people.”
According to the PA ministry, the decision to end the mandate of TIPH is designed to pave the way for the “Judaization” of Area C and the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said that the decision not to renew the mandate of TIPH is an “addiitonal step towards Israel’s nullification of all signed agreements, including the Oslo Interim Agreement.” The decision, he said, “further consolidates the Israeli colonial enterprise and represents one further step towards a ‘de jure” annexation of further areas in the occupied State of Palestine.”
Erekat called on the United Nations to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinians by “ensuring the continued presence of TIPH in Hebron” and deploying permanent international presence in all Palestinian communities, including east Jerusalem, “until the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation.”
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