Smoke rises following an Israeli strike on a building in Gaza City July 14, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called on the international community to intervene to stop Israel from carrying out a military operation in the Gaza Strip.
The PA government, which held its weekly meeting in Ramallah, also repeated its call for providing “immediate and urgent international protection” for the Palestinians.
The PA, however, did not address the issue of the economic sanctions it has imposed on the Gaza Strip. The sanctions include, among other things, halting payment of salaries to thousands of PA employees and forcing thousands of others into early retirement, as well as suspending social welfare assistance to hundreds of families.
Hamas and other Palestinian factions have held the PA responsible for the continued “humanitarian and economic crisis” in the Gaza Strip.
Condemning what it called the “Israeli escalation and threats to launch an aggression on the Gaza Strip,” the PA said that residents of the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave were still suffering from the effects of three “brutal wars waged by Israel and which resulted in the martyrdom and wounding of thousands and the destruction of all aspects of life there.”
The PA also condemned what it termed the “silence” of the international community toward Israel’s “flagrant violation of international and humanitarian laws.” It claimed that Israel was perpetrating “crimes and racist measures against the defenseless Palestinian people.”
Referring to the decision to evict
the Bedouin hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Ma’aleh Adumim, the government, headed by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, accused Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians living there.
Hamdallah told his ministers that the Israeli decision to evict Khan al-Ahmar was part of a plan to “isolate Jerusalem, dividing the West Bank and perpetuating its military occupation.” This purported scheme, he added, is a “flagrant violation of international laws and conventions.”
According to Hamdallah, Israel is seeking, “through its aggression on the Bedouin communities,” to change the reality on the ground and undermine the two-state solution.
“The entire world should move to prevent a new nakba [catastrophe] which the refugees in Khan al-Ahmar are being subjected to,” Hamdallah said.
The PA government also praised the recent decision by the Ireland’s Senate to ban the importation of products from Israeli settlements. It said such decisions underscored the “historic relations between the Palestinians and the Irish people, as well as Ireland’s commitment to defend social justice, equality, freedom and the rights of the oppressed.”
The government called on all EU countries to follow suit and take action against the “illegal settlements and their expansion.”
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also launched on Tuesday a scathing attack on Israel and accused it of carrying out “extra-judicial killings, assaulting holy sites and displacing Palestinians.” He also accused Israel of pursuing a policy aimed at “Judaizing” Jerusalem.
Erekat, who was speaking during a meeting in Ramallah with Montenegro Minister of Foreign Affairs Srdjan Darmanovic, called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for “violations” against the Palestinians. He also reiterated the Palestinians’ refusal “to accept Israeli and American dictates.”
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