Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that Israeli legislation to retroactively legalize thousands of West Bank settlement homes is an aggression against the Palestinian people.
“That bill is contrary to international law,” Abbas said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. “This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organizations”.
“What we want is peace… but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid,” Abbas said.
Hollande called on the Israeli government to go back on the bill approved by lawmakers late Monday, saying it would “pave the way for an annexation, de facto, of the occupied territories, which would be contrary to the two-state solution.”
Hours before Abbas’ meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, told The Associated Press that the bill is “putting the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.”
The measure is the latest in a series of pro-settler steps taken by Israel’s hard-line government since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
Calling the move “theft,” Erekat said it was “the Israeli government trying to legalize looting Palestinian land”.
In his joint statement with Hollande, Abbas also warned against moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of Trump’s campaign promises.
“Any move in that direction is an error and shouldn’t be done prior to an agreement on a political solution”, he said.
Story by the Associated Press