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Erekat: Settler violence reflects Israeli policy
Published Wednesday 21/04/2010 (updated) 22/04/2010 15:38
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Bethlehem - Ma'an - Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday condemned recent settler attacks against Palestinians, attributing them to a culture of violence, hatred and extremism that the Israeli government has encouraged by announcing new settlements.

"Settler violence and the wanton destruction of Palestinian property replicate what is being done on a much larger scale by Israel as it pushes ahead with illegal settlement construction across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem," Erekat said in a statement. "They bring into full view the violence that underpins Israel’s policy of illegal settlement construction and the cost to Palestinians."

The PLO official added that "Settlers are the direct beneficiaries of a state policy that says it is OK to occupy and steal another people’s land, to demolish their homes, to steal their water, to construct segregated roads and build entire cities behind the walls of an apartheid system that promotes settlements by stripping Palestinians of their basic rights and freedoms.

"The result is a culture of violence, hatred and extremism in which Israeli settlers, often accompanied by Israeli soldiers, run riot across the West Bank, driven by an ideology that glorifies such acts as serving the cause of Greater Israel, a cause which draws support from many in the current Israeli coalition," the official added, following a day of settler violence and vandalism across the occupied West Bank.

His comments followed the latest spate of settler attacks targeting Palestinians, including the uprooting of 250 olive tree seedlings Tuesday by residents of the settlement of Givat Hayovel, which had been planted by Palestinian farmers in the village of Qaryut to mark Earth Day.

On Monday, settlers attacked the General Union of Palestinian Workers' housing complex in Ein Sinyia, north of Ramallah, during which settlers destroyed water tanks and surrounding property, the statement noted, as well as last week’s attack on the village of Huwwara during which settlers vandalized a mosque, painting racist slogans on its walls, burned two cars, and uprooted more than 300 olive trees.

Rather than prepare Israelis for peace, Erekat said, the policies of the current Israeli government "encourage and enable these extremists to intimidate and destroy at will, armed with the absurd notion that they have a divine right to steal, to vandalize and to persecute another people. Beyond the enormous damage settler violence does, it is also an example of Israeli incitement pure and simple."

Referring to Israeli media reports on Wednesday, Erekat said that even some members of the Israeli military have recognized that settler violence is deliberately aimed to incite riots and provoke Palestinians. He said that Israel’s refusal freeze all settlements threatened any hope of salvaging the two-state solution, while settler violence threatened to escalate tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Settlements are the major obstacle to peace and the greatest threat to the two-state solution. Everyone in the international community acknowledges this. They are a black hole in which hopes of peace are fast disappearing, Erekat said.

"Palestinians want peace and freedom: the Israeli government wants settlements and apartheid. While Palestinians are building a state, Israeli settlers remain intent on destroying everything in their path. That is the basic equation we face today, and the basic challenge facing the international community," he concluded.
1 ) anti-zion / Ireland
21/04/2010 17:25
Why dont Palestinians burn the settlers homes and schools and temples?

21/04/2010 23:58
If we were to listen to Erekat, everything and anything that Israel won't give him, is a major hinderance to peace

East Jerusalem
and the list goes on

The fact is tht in his mind the very existence of Israel is a hinderance

3 ) Roman / UK
22/04/2010 13:51
@ Anti-Zion - Because that would lead to innocents hurt, heavy reprisals and would not make the situation right. Revenge is pointless. Particularly somewhere where it is civilians with stones versus heavily armed military and very well armed settlers. @ Ben Jabo - Well, thanks.. Given him? How kind of them to 'give' them nuggets from the land they turned up and stole. Not content with that, they steal land from the bits they said is Palestine. Not content with that, they are killing innocents.

22/04/2010 16:04
anti-zion / Ireland
"Why dont Palestinians burn the settlers homes and schools and temples"

The Arabs already did hat, ever hear of the '29 & '36 riots or the time that Jordan conquered Jerusalem in 1948, burning synagogues and schools, even stooping so low that they defiled graveyards, stealing the tombstone to be used as paving blocks so they wouldn't get their shoes muddy when going to the latrine and that also includes the ambulance convoy to Mt. Scopus Hospital all killed

23/04/2010 00:15

Is anyone out there able to tell me where t he Capitol of Ancient Palestine was locaated, or what form of Government they were ruled under??

6 ) Arna / USA
23/04/2010 12:09
Nations and nationalism were fabricated in the late 19th century Ben. Peoples were not part of governments, and rulers were not of their peoples. Palestinians were a peoples under various distinct ruling groups for centuries, with local customs forming cultural identities, and trading routes cementing geographical ties. Until the nationalist project, people=government was not the equation, and frankly, it still isn't in a lot of places.

23/04/2010 17:12
6) Arna

Gee, I thought England, France, Germany, Denmark and the rest of the lot were nations long before the 19th Century, correct me if I'm wrong
Let's not forget the USA 1776

So if I understand y ou correctly there never, ever was a Palestinian nation, merely a individual wandering tribes

Israel had 12 tribes and two nations, Israel & Judea, long before Rome re-named the area "Palestine" as a specific insult to the jews it had conquered
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