PA contemplates response to new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria

Palestinian Authority officials are meeting to come up with a response to Israel’s announcement of thousands of new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. 

In light of Israel’s announcements to build thousands of additional Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, Palestinian Authority officials have begun “urgent” meetings to decide on several options of responding.

“We have started urgent consultations in order to take the necessary measures to confront the settlement activities,” stated Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Palestinian news outlet Wafa.

“We call on the US administration to rein this Israeli government’s policy which is going to destroy the peace process.”

A week before the announced approval on Tuesday of 3,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria, Israel authorized 2,500 new homes in both regions, a move that President Donald Trump’s administration avoided making any condemnation of whatsoever.

“(The Trump Administration) wants to grow closer with Israel and make sure that it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East,” said Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer when asked to respond to the 2500 new housing units.  “Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States. We’re going to have a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and we will continue to discuss that.”

The PA is notably perturbed not only with the absence of criticism from the Trump administration but also with the “minor” international condemnation from bodies like the European Union and the United Nations for the new Jewish housing units in Judea and Samaria.

“The (PA) was disappointed by the minor responses of some of the influential countries, which only condemned and denounced the measures without taking necessary actions to pressure Israel to stop the settlements, to force it to comply with international law and to engage in making peace instead of clinging to the occupation,” said PA spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud according to Wafa.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), echoed al-Mahmoud’s remarks.

“The silence of the new American government, including those who actively support the settlements in the White House and the administration as a whole, has emboldened Netanyahu to persist with his settlement activities,” Wafa reported her saying.

“The enormity and severity of the situation should send a strong message to the international community, including the United States and the European Union, to intervene immediately and bring about an end to all settlement activities and Israel’s illegal unilateralism,” she continued. “We also call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to ensure respect for Security Council resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334, and to make certain that Israel complies with them.”

UN Security Council resolution 2334, that passed unanimously in the UN Security Council with an abstention from the then Obama administration, condemned all Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and other areas in Jerusalem that were won by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day war in 1967.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News