Palestinian lawmaker: Israel's settlement legalization bill a 'declaration of war'

In an exclusive interview to the Jerusalem Post, Mustafa Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian legislator, predicts that this step will boost BDS efforts,

December 6, 2016 19:02
1 minute read.

White House says Israel's new settlement activity undermines peace process

White House says Israel's new settlement activity undermines peace process


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A prominent Palestinian legislator on Tuesday condemned the Knesset's passage on preliminary reading of the Regulation Bill legalizing settler housing units built on private Palestinian land, terming it a "declaration of war" on the Palestinian people.

Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from Ramallah, told The Jerusalem Post that passage of the bill "is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and on peace and an act that attempts to assassinate the possibility of a two state solution."

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"It kills the possibility of a historic compromise," he added. "If Palestinians are denied the possibility of having a state of their own they will have no option but to demand a one state solution of full democratic rights for everyone."

"This reveals the real face of Mr Netanyahu, who keeps changing his skin but in reality was always against the establishment of a Palestinian state," Barghouthi said.

He termed the legalization of outposts "legalization of theft. We know that theft was practiced before under other auspices like security reasons but now we are seeing legalizing theft for settlement."

Asked how Palestinians will react, Barghouthi said: "This will lead to big changes in the Palestinian cause. This is the final declaration of the end of Oslo. Palestinians will have to change their course. This will enhance the action of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions work worldwide. The whole notion of waiting for negotiation to produce results is over."

"The only way is to change the balance of power especially through peaceful popular resistance, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, diplomatic measures to defend Palestinian land and to demand of the international community to respond by taking actions against Israel and its violations of international law," Barghouti specified.

The Knesset voted 60-49 Monday evening to pass the Regulation Bill on preliminary reading, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, hailing the bill as "leading the way to annexation" of the West Bank. The bill will legalize 54 settlements situated on about 8000 dunams of privately-owned Palestinian land, according to Peace Now. The bill specifies that compensation is to be offered to land owners if they are known.

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