Israel is planning to construct more settlement units in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
According to Israel's channel one TV, 14 settler units will be built in a Palestinian neighborhood near another settlement. The plan --which was approved on Wednesday-- is expected to spark fresh international condemnation of Israel's settlements activities.
Last month, Tel Aviv announced plans for building more than 800 settler units in East al-Quds. The announcement was made in response to Palestinian efforts to join UNESCO.
Tel Aviv continues its settlement expansions despite international pressure. The international community considers all settlements built on occupied Palestinian land as illegal.
Bruce Katz, co-president of Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), joins Press TV to further explore the issue. What follows is the transcription of the interview:
Press TV: After UNESCO's admission of Palestine, Israel responded by approving more settlements knowing that the US will remain silent. Where does Palestine go from here in such a situation?
Katz: First, I think that Israel would have built its settlements whether Palestine was in UNESCO or not. This is simply part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing program which started in 1948. There is no difference between the perspective of 48 and the present perspective.
The fact is that, yes, it is because of the fact that not simply the United States but essentially most of the Western world simply goes along with it and denounces it but does nothing about it in terms of sanctions which is why I think that the answer can only be the boycott. In terms of what this means about a Palestinian state, at the outset, if there is no possibility of a capital for a Palestinian state in al-Quds because of the fact that the Palestinians in East Jerusalem simply be driven out, encircled and driven out, then at the outset there is no possibility of a viable Palestinian state and they will have no capital; will have no real borders, no real airspace, etcetera.
In such case, the solution is one, one single state, perhaps a federated state with autonomous regions which would, in that way, deal with the worries for Israelis of a Jewish majority in a certain region and would give the Palestinians a possibility of controlling their own institutions. In the actual situation that we see evolving, it is quite obvious that the possibility of an independent viable Palestinian state under the present circumstances is an impossibility.
Press TV: Settlements have been spoken about for many years, with no tangible results as of yet. You have mentioned boycotts, what needs to really be done, or can realistically be done at this time including boycotts, to stop Israel's encroachment on these Palestinian lands?
Katz: Obviously, besides boycotts, there would have to be divestment campaign and there has to be pressure exercised against corporations that do business with Israel.
There has to be a campaign to prevent Israeli goods from being sold abroad and there needs to be sanctions, but again I am quite sure that Netanyahu has measured support for what he has announced, in terms of building more settlements, with his Republican friends in Washington, his Conservative friends in Ottawa and essentially he has the entire US Congress both Republican and Democrat that will simply jump on the bandwagon, even though what we are talking about here is institutionalized racism.
So if we were to make a logical extension of this, then we would say that it is surprising that they did not continue to support apartheid in South Africa since it is essentially the same situation.