Jerusalem, 22 Jumadil Akhir 1434/2 May 2013 (MINA) – The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday (1/5) that an Israeli withdrawal would not bring peace with the Palestinians because the heart of the conflict was their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

His remarks came a day after the Arab League announced moves to revive and modify its 2002 peace initiative, drawing praise from Washington and from Israel’s chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni but no official response from the Israeli government.

“The root of the conflict is not territorial. It started a long time before 1967,” Netanyahu said in a meeting with foreign ministry officials, referring to the year Israel seized Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. Ma’an News Agency reported as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

The Saudi-led proposal, which offers full diplomatic ties with the Arab world in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from land occupied in 1967, now includes a reference to the principle of mutually agreed land swaps, in a move hailed by Washington as “a very big step forward.”

Israel hopes the principle of land swaps will allow it to retain the large blocs where most settlers live, while the Palestinians would be compensated by receiving territory currently under Israeli sovereignty.

Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich hailed as “important” the Arab League’s move, saying on public radio it could “allow a restart of negotiations.”

She urged Netanyahu to respond to the initiative as laid out on Tuesday by Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, saying that even if the initiative failed, it would still win Israel points in the court of international public opinion.

Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are violates the human rights of Palestinians in a way that is designed to remove them from their home land.

It was stated in a UN report, which also said that through the construction of settlements, Israel expel Palestinians, destroy their crops and homes, and also became the target of violence.

The report also called for the immediate halt to settlement construction in the occupied territories and the withdrawal of all settlers from there.

An UN human rights lawyer, Asma Jahangir, told that the only solution is to stop building settlements.

“If you look at the constitution, then f you will look at the law, and there, you will look at the violation. If you ask about the issue of self-determination, so, that is the only option,” he said.

The UN itself also asked Israeli government to halt all illegal settlement activities in the Palestinian West Bank and withdraw settlers from Palestinian land.

“Israel should,, halt all settlement activity without preconditions, in accordance with article 49 Geneva Convention” said a report by United Nations human rights investigation

Israel must immediately begin the process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories), “the report added.

It is said that Israeli settlements violated the 1949 Geneva Convention, which forbids Israelis to move into the area of illegal settlements, which is equal to the step and the war crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)


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