OneVoice Movement Condemns Settlement Expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

TEL AVIV, Israel and RAMALLAH, Palestine, Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The OneVoice Movement, an international grassroots movement promoting a two-state solution and an end to the conflict and occupation, condemns the recent announcement of settlement expansion by the Israeli government.

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"In total, the announcement opens the door for the approval/promotion of more than 5,000 units, in addition to the major public domain projects in East Jerusalem," according to Eyes on the Ground in East Jerusalem. In response to this development, Tal Harris, executive director of OneVoice Israel, and Samer Makhlouf, executive director of OneVoice Palestine, issued the following statements:

Statement by Tal Harris:

"The recent announcement by Israeli officials that they will seek to construct 5,000 new housing units beyond the Green Line is deeply troubling," said Harris. "These actions are indicative of a Prime Minister who has confused his country's best interests with those parts of his right-wing coalition. Such inflammatory steps gravely damage our country's credibility and threaten to derail the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In the past, Prime Minister Netanyahu has demonstrated his commitment to these negotiations, but actions like this suggest that he values holding the negotiations ransom to appease his political partners rather than doing what is necessary to end the conflict. Secretary Kerry is devoting considerable effort to enable these negotiations to succeed and the Israeli government should not make his efforts more difficult by expanding settlement construction."

Statement by Samer Makhlouf:

"The latest declaration by the Israeli government to build more settlements and a wall in the Jordan Valley in the heart of the Palestinian occupied territories is a deeply damaging move," said Makhlouf. "Settlements—by their very nature—make our goal of two states impossible. It is crucial that everyone, both Palestinians and Israelis, continue to focus on strengthening the ongoing negotiations; and that means a freeze to any further building. We must not let actions like this diminish the efforts of those who are working to end the occupation and establish our independent state. OneVoice Palestine supports President Abbas and the PLO in their strategy to harness diplomacy in order for justice to prevail, and an independent state of Palestine to be secured."

About OneVoice:

OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to demand a two-state solution and an end to the conflict and occupation. The Movement supports the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. We believe that the 1967 borders with minor land swaps, a freeze in settlement activity, and the maintaining of security for both peoples are an essential basis for success. OneVoice also educates and trains Israeli and Palestinian youth in leadership skills, non-violent activism, and democratic principles. You can follow OneVoice on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

SOURCE The OneVoice Movement



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