The Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO, has released a statement condemning Israel for its “colonization and ethnic cleansing" policies, which have effectively sabotaged possibilities of peace in the region, according to the group.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO's executive committee, noted that "Israel's colonization and ethnic cleansing policies are based on theft — the theft of Palestinian lands, resources and lives."
The statement, announced by Palestinian news agency Wafa, contends that the Zionist state's "dangerous and disastrous" policies aimed at crippling Palestinian independence, reveals an Israel that's “more committed to land theft and mass expulsion than peace."
Ashrawi's complaint comes on the heels of new land confiscation in Beit Lahm (Bethlehem) with the intent of expanding the Maaleh Rehavam settlements. The latest annexation fits within the framework of stealing territories in other areas of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank and the demolition of buildings in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
"These illegal acts reinforce Israel's intention to change the facts on the ground and systematically eradicate the presence of Palestinians in the West Bank, including Jerusalem," Ashrawi said.
He reiterated that Tel Aviv continues to herd off Palestinians from their homeland to enlarge Israel, thus distorting the historical, political, cultural, demographic and geographical realities of Palestine.
Ashrawi urged the international community to stave, do whatever it can, to halt Israeli expansionist policies, for "without a territorially contiguous and viable Palestinian state, peace and stability are impossible."
Ratcheting up the collective aspiration of statehood, he pressed governments around the world to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk alongside Palestinians, holding Israel accountable for its international crimes.
“Serious and concrete measures,” Ashrawi said, must be adopted, including "legal, political and economic sanctions to stop, once and for all, Israel's flagrant and grave violations of international laws and conventions.”