A strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “relieves world from issuing useless condemnations against Israeli settlement” activities.
The statement comes on the heels of Israeli government announcements of 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, only days after a spike in illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes. These tenders are for “320 new housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, [the claimed Palestinian capital]…770 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood…more than 500 new units in Ma’ale Adumim and 42 in Kiryat Arba,” Haaretz reported.
The United States, EU, UK, Germany, France, and the UN have all condemned the announcement. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said “we are deeply concerned,” and “we strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.”
Perhaps it is the stale predictably of such reactions that led the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to blast them as “repetitive,” bearing no significant “weight or pressure” that would help stop the illegal expansion of settlements:
“If these countries believe they absolve themselves from responsibility regarding Israel’s persistent violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the settlements policy, through issuing condemnations or expressing concerns, then we assure them that such automated and repetitive responses are no longer needed,” the Ministry statement reads.
The statement marks an increased sense of frustration for Palestinian leadership, which has always maintained a low-key diplomatic tone, not least because of some UN Security Council members’ obstruction to adopt a resolution that would set a timeline for negotiations. Another recent source of grievance concerning the US favored multilateral process is the failure of international Quartet report, issued early July, to provide substantial policy prescriptions beyond merely documenting the situation on the ground. A senior PLO official close to President Abbas said that “for us the Quartet report is a non-paper,” Al-Monitor reported.
“These countries know very well that Israel is familiar with the details of their positions on the issue of settlements, and that their positions will not exceed condemnation,” continues the statement, creating a state of “conformity” that allows Israel to live with such reactions without being challenged.
The statement then turns to the bilateral relations many countries of the condemning type have with Israel, stressing that “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”