Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki holds a news conference at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki holds a news conference at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts

Palestine responds to U.S. ambassador statements on West Bank

Mon, Jun. 10, 2019
CAIRO - 10 June 2019: Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates revealed in a statement Sunday that it considers filing a complaint against U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedmen at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

That is in response to his statements to the New York Times saying, “Under certain circumstances ... Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised before the latest election in April that part of the West Bank would be annexed.

The ambassador said that the Middle East Peace Plan that will be unveiled soon by the United States is intended to enhance the quality of life of Palestinians but does not offer a “permanent resolution to the conflict,” according to the New York Times.

Furthermore, Friedman alleged Palestinian leaders exert “massive pressure” on prominent Palestinian businessmen to not take part in the economic conference to be held in Bahrain later this month. Organized by the United States, the conference is aimed at highlighting the financial benefits of accepting the plan.

“Friedman’s statements are part of the U.S. administration's policy totally biased towards the occupation and its colonial expansive policies...Based on what rationale does Friedman believe Israel has the right to annex sections, but not all, of the West Bank? Upon what (basis) did Friedman build his convictions? (Are those convictions based) on international law that proscribes using force to disrupt territorial integrity or on the reality imposed by the authorities of the occupation,” the Palestinian ministry’s statement read.

The ministry affirmed that Friedman’s statements are a threat to the region’s peace and security, and that they expose the Palestinian people to many risks and conspiracies.

“What is noteworthy in the words of Friedman is his eagerness to improve the Palestinians’ quality of life under occupation through bumping Arab and non-Arab capital into joint projects by the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI). The pro-settlement chamber was founded by Friedman himself to propagate co-existence under occupation. Simultaneously, he was making strenuous efforts to cut all U.S. aids to the Palestinian people and the institutions that provide it with services as well as Palestinian infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, and others...Who is (Friedman) to criticize human rights in Palestine while support settlers and their state to steal the property of the Palestinian people and violate its basic rights of education, worship, movement, work, transportation and others,” the statement said.
 
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