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Israel’s unilateral measures could bring catastrophe to region: Palestinian PM

Ramallah, Feb 2 (IANS) Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye has warned that the unilateral measures of the Israeli government against the Palestinians would be “catastrophic” for the region.

An official statement on Wednesday said that Ishtaye made the warning during a meeting held in the West Bank city of Ramallah with the head of the German Social Democratic Party, Lars Klingbeil.

The Palestinian Prime Minister called on Germany and other European countries “who believe in justice, peace, and international law, to pressure Israel to stop its unilateral actions and abide by the signed peace agreement and international law”.

“To confront the agenda of the new Israeli government and its measures, the State of Palestine must be recognised, and Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against our people must be put to an end,” he added, according to the statement.

Ishtaye accused the Israeli government of “practicing the worst forms of collective punishment on the Palestinians, accelerating settlement expansion, and working to pass more racist and punitive laws that would fuel the conflict”.

The unilateral measures include settlement expansion, house demolitions, land confiscation, storming and changing the legal status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, raids on Palestinian towns and a deduction of Palestinian tax revenue dues, according to the Palestinian side, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We now live in a political vacuum, and we must work to create a political horizon based on international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative,” he said, adding that “Germany and Europe have to play an active role in that”.

Israel seized Palestinian territories in 1967. The Palestinians want to establish an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.