The acting Palestinian Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas, says Israel is attempting to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem Al-Quds as part of its Judaization campaign targeting the holy city.
“East Jerusalem Al-Quds is suffering an unprecedented settlement attack aimed at eliminating its identity, separating it from its surroundings and suffocating every activity in order to achieve one goal, which is expulsion, and this will not be allowed to happen,” Abbas said Thursday at the closing ceremony of the Al-Quds Capital of Arab Culture festival in Nablus.
He also noted, “There is no Palestine without East Jerusalem Al-Quds. No one will accept it. Without East Jerusalem Al-Quds there will be no peace.”
Tel Aviv is currently under intense pressure from the international community to halt the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israeli settlements are widely considered the main obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Under the 2002 Roadmap for Peace, Israel has to ‘dismantle settlement outposts erected since 2001 and freeze all settlement activities.’
There are currently 121 Israeli settlements and approximately 102 Israeli outposts built on Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967. All of these settlements and outposts are illegal under international law and have been condemned by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions.
These settlements and outposts are inhabited by a population of 462,000 Israeli settlers. Some 191,000 Israelis are living in settlements around Jerusalem Al-Quds and an additional 271,400 are spread throughout the West Bank.
All such Jewish settlements are deemed illegal under international law because they have been erected on occupied lands that the Palestinians claim for a future state.