PLO official appeals to Switzerland, international community to hold Israel accountable for its violations

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POSTED: March 20, 2018
SOURCE: Wafa

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi appealed to Switzerland and the international community on Tuesday to hold Israel accountable for its violations and work to end Israel's military occupation in order to bring about the free and sovereign state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

This came during a meeting with the Swiss Representative to Palestine Julien Thöni, during which Ashrawi acknowledged Switzerland's voting record at the United Nations particularly on the issue of settlements and Jerusalem.

Ashrawi pointed out the dangers of the Trump Administration's policy of "completely supporting the Israeli occupation's policies and measures particularly on the crucial issue of Jerusalem and the American illegal recognition of the city as capital of Israel."

She also denounced in a statement the withholding of funding for the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, calling on the Swiss Government to work with the international community to increase support for Palestinian refugees and their rights.

The meeting focused on Israel's continued violations on the ground, particularly the ethnic-cleansing and illegal settlement activities in and around Jerusalem as well as other oppressive measures which "drastically decrease the chances of peace."

She also described the extremist coalition government in Israel as creating a culture of hate and racism within Israel and distorting its legal and judicial systems.

Meanwhile, Ashrawi condemned the reduced sentence of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria who shot at point blank range and killed unarmed, wounded, incapacitated 21-year-old Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in Hebron on March 24, 2016 as one example.

"It is clear that Israel employs a double standard in its extreme and exaggerated sentences passed against the Palestinians by Israeli military courts, while Israeli occupation soldiers and illegal settlers are allowed to target Palestinian victims with impunity."

The discussion also addressed the internal situation including the recent explosions in Gaza and their impact on reunification efforts.

Ashrawi expressed her appreciation to the Swiss for their positive interventions in the service of reconciliation.

Both parties discussed how to expand Palestinian-Swiss relations and boost cooperation and partnerships among different sectors including civil society organizations.

The PLO official extended her sincere gratitude to Switzerland for urging Swiss firms and companies "to adhere to ethical and legal investments by not partnering with Israel's illegal settlement enterprise."

 

The meeting concluded with a discussion of the upcoming meeting of the Palestine National Council and plans for the revitalization of the Palestinian political system.

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The General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the U.S. is the official representative of the PLO in the United States.

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