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Ashrawi: Stagnant talks with Israel 'too costly for Palestinians'

March 29, 2014 4:47 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2014 10:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A member of the PLO's Executive committee said in a statement Saturday that "stagnant" negotiations with Israel have been "too costly for the Palestinian people," pointing at a long list of Israeli "aggressions" since the talks began.

"The 'peace process' has cost us the lives of many Palestinian civilians, an unprecedented theft of land and resources, and the increase in settlement activities, among other measures of ethnic cleansing and apartheid carried out by the Israeli government," Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

"These include the political, economic, social, and cultural siege of Jerusalem and its periphery by means of forced displacement, home demolitions, checkpoints, apartheid walls, and settlements," Ashrawi said.

She called these policies by the Israeli government "collective punishment" against the Palestinian people, and said that the policies violate "fundamental rights and freedoms, ... institutionalize racism and incite hatred."

Sixty Palestinians have been killed and at least 941 injured in "extrajudicial operations" by Israeli forces since talks began, the statement said.

Israel has also conducted at least 3,767 military raids in Gaza and the West Bank, and arrested more than 3,061 Palestinians.

"It is high time that Israel pays the price for its war crimes against the Palestinian people, and adheres to international and humanitarian law," Ashrawi said.

"We call on the international community to act quickly to end the prolonged occupation of Palestine before Israel succeeds in plunging the entire region into a permanent spiral of violence and destruction," she concluded.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.
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