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Israeli settlement activities in West Bank amount to war crimes: PLO official

A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has strongly condemned Zionist regime’s plans to build nearly 3,000 more housing units in the occupied West Bank, stressing that the Tel Aviv regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in Palestinian territories amount to war crimes.

According to Press TV, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said on Friday that Zionist regime’s settlement activities are illegal under international law, and amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Zionist regime is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of al-Quds, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state,” she added.

The top PLO official further noted that the plans by the Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee for 2,615 housing units are “in blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution. [Zionist regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu along with his extremist and racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial settler expansionism.”

Ashrawi then called on the international community to “intervene immediately, and force Israel to put an end to its unlawful unilateralism and acts of land theft and colonialism once and for all.”

Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.

Less than a month before Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Zionist regime to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East”  al-Quds.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.