Abbas says settlement plans are a 'red line'

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December 5, 2012 17:19
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Israel's plan to build new housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank, especially in the area known as E1, is a red line because it will divide the Palestinian lands, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cautioned Wednesday.

Speaking to Palestinian journalists in his Ramallah office, Abbas said that the PA leadership has been in contact with several international parties to prevent Israel from implementing its plan.

"If that happens, we will resort to all legitimate and legal methods," Abbas said, hinting at the possibility that the PA may lodge a complaint against Israel with the UN's International Criminal Court. "There is what we could do and say to prevent this dangerous decision."

Abbas said that all Israeli measures on the ground must be removed "because international law forbids the occupation from taking any action in the lands of an occupied state."

Today, Abbas added, "We are an occupied state and the 4th Geneva Convention applies to us as a non-member observer state in the UN General Assembly."

Abbas revealed that the PA has set up a special committee to discuss the Palestinians' future steps in wake of their success at the UN.

The committee will discuss all legal aspects and ways of applying for membership in various international organizations and agencies, he said.

Abbas said that the decision to go to the UN was not aimed at delegitimizing or isolating Israel. "Rather, we want to live in security and stability with Israel," he stressed. "Israel used to say that this is a disputed land. We went to the UN to affirm that this is a state under occupation and it is forbidden to change its demographic character."


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