Yesterday, Israel showed the world just how much it wants peace in its landby taking more land away from the Palestinians, a move sure to make matters worse. And they did this by giving a stunningly laughable reason for the seizure:
Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June. (Emphasis added)This reasoning begs the question: if Israel gets more land for the killing of three teens, how much land does Palestine get for Israel’s killing of over 2,000 people, including nearly 600 children, in recent weeks?
The move is, of course, completely illegal according to international law, as noted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which — as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions — is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution,” he said in a statement Monday. (Emphasis added)A map provided by Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, clearly shows the territory being across the Green Line, the border derived between Israel and Palestine in 1949.
The U.S. response, at this point, has been typical: nothing. An anonymous official made a statement that is sure to let Israel know the U.S. has absolutely no problem with further illegal Israeli expansion:
“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” said the State Department official, who declined to be identified.If the U.S. government did truly agree the expansion was illegal and Israel should stop this action along with its violence against Palestinians, it might stop arming Israel or, at the very least, call for damaging economic sanctions against the country. But it doesn’t because it is clearly okay with the seizure along with all past Israeli actions. Actions that will continue in the future, without a doubt…
“This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians,” the official said.