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Ashrawi meets ILO, Telos group to discuss Israeli violations

April 6, 2016 6:24 P.M. (Updated: April 6, 2016 6:25 P.M.)
Hanan Ashrawi, with the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (AFP)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi met with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and an American group pushing for a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Wednesday to discuss Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

In her meeting with the ILO in Ramallah, Ashrawi denounced Israeli efforts to expand and normalize the status of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.

“We strongly denounce Israel’s plans to transform the illegal settlements of Maale Mikhmas, Rimmonim, Kokhav Hashahar, and Pesagot, located east of Ramallah, into a residential suburb with a population of 77,000 by 2040; the illegal outpost of Mitzpe Danny is also part of such plans,” Ashrawi said while speaking with the ILO delegation led by Special Advisor to the Director General, Kari Tapiola.

“Once again, Israel is exhibiting its blatant disregard of the two-state solution and international law and consensus. With its willful efforts to expand its illegal settlement enterprise at the expense of Palestinian land and resources, Israel is demonstrating its commitment to establishing ‘Greater Israel’ on historical Palestine.”

Later during the day, Ashrawi welcomed a delegation from the Telos group, a bipartisan US organization seeking to improve American understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and expand support for a two-state solution.

According to a PLO press release, the group discussed the “detrimental” effect of the US Congress on peace prospects, and “emphasized the need for the American public to courageously speak out against the abuse of American funds and weapons.”

Ashrawi also called “on the US administration to exhibit the political will necessary to hold Israel accountable and to end the military occupation,” the press release read.

In both meetings, Ashrawi voiced support for a French initiative to organize an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this summer, stressing the importance of “multilateral engagement” in the process to ensure clear objectives, concrete steps, and a binding timeline for the talks.

She also emphasized the need for a revitalisation of the Palestinian political and economic system by holding elections, strengthening the rule of law, and creating more job opportunities.
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