Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that Israel’s construction plans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank had crossed a “red line” and that it is the Palestinian’s right and duty to do “everything possible” to oppose the move.
Abbas said that the new neighborhoods Israel announced it would build will isolate the city from its surroundings and split the West Bank in two.
“We will not allow these things to go unpunished,” said Abbas, calling on Israel to get a grip on itself and realize that peace is in the interests of its future generations, just as it’s in the interest of future Palestinian generations.
Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian Authority leadership would only return to the negotiating table if Israel consented to freeze settlement construction.
Meanwhile the PLO ‘s Leadership issued a statement urging Abbas to urgently approach the UN Security Council and call on it to issue a binding resolution against Israeli construction beyond the Green Line. The statement also called for more cooperation with the international community to protect the Palestinian people from what they called “crimes and aggression by settlers, in compliance with the occupying forces, against Palestinian residents and their property.”
Israel faced scathing rebuke from the US and European countries last month after it announced it would advance construction plans in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods, particularly for its plans to build a new neighborhood in a strip of land known as E1 that rests between the capital and the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.
Earlier Thursday, some 500 Palestinians threw stones and firebombs at troops near the town of Jenin after the soldiers attempted to arrest a terror suspect from his home the town.
Security officials say there has been an increase in West Bank violence since November, when Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense to end Gazan rocket fire.
In recent years, the West Bank has been relatively calm as a result of coordination between Israel’s military and Palestinian security forces in tracking down militants.
However, Palestinian officials say Israel has stepped up unilateral actions, such as surprise arrest raids, since the Palestinians won UN recognition of a nonmember observer state of Palestine late last year.