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Palestinian Map Expert, Khalil Tufakji, Says Land Swap Means Approval of Illegal Israeli Settlements and Apartheid Wall

Palestinian Expert: IOA aims to impose a fait accompli

[ 02/05/2013 - 06:54 PM ]


Dr. Khalil Tufakji, Chairman of Maps Department at the Arab Studies Society, stated that land swaps between the Palestinian and Israeli parties approved by the Arab League mean nothing in real terms in light of facts on the ground imposed by the occupation.

He stated that the Israeli withdrawal from territories captured in the 1967 according to UN resolution 242 is out of question. The Israeli policy over the past years in the West Bank, occupied Jerusalem, and the Jordan Valley will prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, Tufkaji added.

The construction of the Israeli Apartheid Wall in 2001, the Israeli ethnic cleansing policy carried out in the Jordan Valley, and the Israeli rejection to divide Jerusalem to keep it under Israeli sovereignty confirmed that the Israeli withdrawal according to UN resolution 242 will never be applied on the ground, he explained.

The Arab League approval of the principle of land swaps with the occupation authorities, he added, means the approval of the Israeli Apartheid Wall and settlements within Palestinian strategic areas.

Regarding the PA Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki's statements that the PA has pledged to the US that it would freeze its efforts to join United Nations agencies, Tufakji said that the PA has granted the Israeli occupation the opportunity to implement its schemes in the region.

For his part, Palestinian Legislative Council second deputy speaker Hassan Khuraishah said the Arab agreement over land swaps with Israeli occupation aimed to re-activate the Arab Peace Initiative presented in 2002.

The Arab delegation to the UN fully realizes the futility of the Arab Initiative due to the Israeli settlement campaigns in the West Bank, stressing that the Arab visit to Washington aims to satisfy the Israelis and not the Palestinian people.

He denounced the delegation of the Arab peace initiative committee for accepting land swaps with the Israeli occupation state, saying that it aims to activate negotiation process.

The Palestinian people did not authorize any party to make concessions over the Palestinian national constants, he said, the Palestinian people will refuse the Initiative as they refused it previously when it was presented by the PA.

He said this initiative do not represent the Palestinian people nor the Arab peoples

The speakers on behalf of an Arab League delegation to Washington do not represent the Palestinian people or their Arab peoples, stressing that there are American pressures on the PA to restore negotiations without preconditions.

Khuraishah called on the PA and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah, Riyad al-Maliki, to respect the Palestinian people ad not to resume negotiation with the occupation.

Abu Marzouk: Land swap brings in more waivers

[ 02/05/2013 - 09:01 PM ]


Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, member of the Hamas political bureau, has strongly slammed the waivers made by the Arab ministerial delegation to the United States regarding an initiative of land swap.

Abu Marzouk said on Wednesday in a statement posted on his Facebook page that the issue of Palestine is an Arab and Islamic issue, but no one is entitled to give up any inch of it.

"We refuse to exchange land because all the land belongs to us," he said, stressing that the recent waivers might bring in new pressures and more waivers.

Salah al-Khawaja, an expert on issues of settlements and the wall in the occupied West Bank rejected the Arab League endorsement of land swaps between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, considering it violation of international law.

Khawaja told Quds Press on Wednesday that international law does not allow any state to swap lands before the liberation and the establishment of an independent state.

He pointed out that the principle of "land swap" is like a new Arab waiver to the USA, as it gives legitimacy to the occupation to continue its settlement activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Khawaja condemned the Arab silence regarding Israel's persistent policy of destruction and killing of Palestinian people.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met on Tuesday with Arab League officials to discuss the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative

Kerry welcomed in a meeting with journalists the Arab League's decision to accept the exchange of lands between Israel and the Palestinians.

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