Palestine seeks US intervention on settlement expansion

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on the new US administration to “turn its words into action” and work seriously in putting an end to Israeli settlement expansion.

Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday March 10, 2021, Shtayyeh addressed efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak and growing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

He said, “They undermine international efforts to keep the prospect of establishing the state of Palestine alive.”

He condemned the intention of the occupation authorities to evacuate the “Jerusalemite families, the original residents of the city,” from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, to allow colonists to take over.

Shtayyeh called on international human rights organizations to intervene urgently to stop the eviction of citizens from their homes, calling on the international community to condemn these plans and compel Israel to stop them immediately.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to investigate Israel on the settlements expansion.

Shtayyeh affirmed that Palestine will cooperate with the court in providing all data that would help speed up investigations to bring the perpetrators of the crimes to justice.

He lauded the decision of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to open a criminal investigation into the situation of Palestine, praising her courage despite prior and subsequent challenges.

“This reflects her [Bensouda] belief in the values of justice and fairness that the court was established to implement, just as the decision affirms that the hand of justice will reach the perpetrators of crimes and hold them accountable, and no one will escape punishment.”

The PM asserted that those crimes do not have a statute of limitations.

Last week, the ICC Prosecutor confirmed the initiation of an investigation respecting the Situation in Palestine, indicating that there is a reasonable basis for the probe.

“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that is alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office.”

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