Israel Settlement Policy a Mockery of Int’l Law

Israel Settlement  Policy a Mockery of Int’l Law Israel Settlement  Policy a Mockery of Int’l Law

The Foreign Ministry censured Israel's decision to construct more illegal settler homes in the occupied Palestinian lands, saying its expansionist policies make a mockery of international law.

Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Tuesday said Tel Aviv's decision to expand the illegal settlements is against international regulations and United Nations resolutions, Press TV reported. He echoed the calls of many nations and international organizations for an immediate end to the provocative settlement policy and illgal construction activities, and international bodies to help reduce the suffering of the oppressed Palestinians.

On July 3, hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his minister of military affairs, Avigdor Liberman, approved plans to construct 800 new housing units for settlers in and around the occupied East Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem).

Around 570,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since the regime's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Beit-ul-Moqaddas.

The UN views Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by the regime during a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit any type of construction on occupied lands.

However, Tel Aviv has given the cold shoulder to all international calls for a halt to its land grab, drawing harsh criticism even from its closest allies and bankrollers, including the US and Europe.

  Systematic Land Grabbing

On Wednesday, Washington rebuked Israel's "systematic" land seizures and its plans to build more settler homes. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also sharply criticized Israel's settlement expansion activities. The Israeli prime minister, however, rejected the international criticism.

Israel's new plans come at a time when the so-called Quartet on the Middle East, which comprises the US the EU, the UN and Russia, is trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks that stalled in 2014.

Israel's land grabbing policies were among the major sticking points that led to the collapse of the negotiations. Last week, the Quartet said Israel should cease the settlement expansion.