PA cabinet condemns Assi shooting, Jerusalem bill
Published Wednesday 23/10/2013 (updated) 24/10/2013 22:28
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah chairs the weekly cabinet meeting
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority cabinet Tuesday condemned Israeli activity around the West Bank village of Bilin, including the killing of Mohammad Assi by the Israeli army, a statement said Wednesday.
Assi was killed Tuesday when Israeli soldiers stormed an area between the West Bank villages of Bilin and Kufr Nemeh, sparking a gunfight which ended at a cave, Palestinian witnesses and medics said.
The PA cabinet additionally condemned Israel's "bulldozing of agricultural land planted with olive trees..., the storming into Palestinian houses and the destruction of their furniture and properties."
Such "aggression" against the Palestinian people and their properties, in addition to continued settlement construction, serves "as proof that Israel's goals are the expansion, conversion and the looting of the Palestinian land, and not achieving a permanent solution which guarantees the Palestinians’ right to self-determination," the statement said.
Additionally, the cabinet denounced an Israeli Knesset bill "aimed at preventing any Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem," calling Jerusalem "the key to peace."
The bill, passed Sunday, requires a two-thirds majority Knasset vote for the Israeli government to begin any negotiations over the status of Jerusalem.
Israel's "insistence on the confiscation of the city's Arabic identity," renders the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible, the statement continued.
The cabinet called on the international community to "take a firm position against the Israeli government policies" and violation of international law.
Both Israelis and Palestinians consider Jerusalem to the be the capital of their states, although Israel refuses to allow Palestinian authorities to reside in the city.
Israeli forces occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem in 1967, along with the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and other territories. Israeli authorities annexed East Jerusalem to the State of Israel in 1980, in a move that brought international condemnation.