OIC gives a strong diplomatic snub to Israel over controversial plan
ISLAMABAD - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned a controversial plan by Israel to build a new settlement in the heart of the flashpoint West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Naftali Bennett, right-wing Israeli minister of military affairs, said on Sunday that the new settlement, which will be constructed at the site of a wholesale market complex, will “double” the number of settlers in al-Khalil.
Under the construction project, the old market stalls will be demolished to make way for new shops and residential buildings.
Currently, around 800 settlers live in al-Khalil guarded by hundreds of Israeli soldiers. The Israeli settlers are surrounded by some 200,000 Palestinians. [image: Israel to ‘double’ number of settlers in al-Khalil with new project] link Israel to ‘double’ number of settlers in al-Khalil with new project link Israel announces a plan to construct a new settlement in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) that will purportedly accommodate as many settlers as are currently housed in the city. link
In a statement issued on Tuesday, OIC Secretary General Yusuf bin Ahmed al-Uthaymeen said the Israeli decision “is a flagrant breach of the international law, Geneva Accord and relevant UN resolutions and undermines peace efforts.”
He also urged the international community and the UN Security Council to take “resolute action” towards ending the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement policies.
Earlier, Saeb Erekat, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) secretary general, said the project was the “first tangible result of the US decision to legitimize colonization.”
He was referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement link last month that the establishment of settlements in the occupied West Bank “is not per se inconsistent with international law.”