RAMALLAH, Oct 3 (NNN-WAFA) – The Palestinian government, yesterday, established a ministerial committee to confront Israeli settlement expansion in Area C of the West Bank.
Following a weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah, the Palestinian government said in a statement that, the new committee will focus on the development of infrastructure in Area C, including the construction of roads, land reclamation, and the extension of electricity lines, as well as, water and communications networks.
“The committee aims to support the existence of Palestinian residents in area C, by imposing our sovereignty over the area and improving urban life in the territories,” the statement said.
Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ishtaye, was quoted as saying in the statement that, the incumbent Israeli government attempted to annex Area C, noting that the area is “an integral part of the entire territory of the State of Palestine.”
Being the largest and most strategically important part of the West Bank, Area C spans 3,456 square kilometres, or about 60 percent of the territory.
According to the Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993, the West Bank was divided into three areas, with Area A under full security and administrative control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Area C under full Israeli control. The PA exercises administrative control over Area B but shares security control with Israeli authorities.
Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 and has since established settlements there, which are considered as violations of international law.
The Israeli settlement issue is the most prominent aspect of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and one of the main reasons for the breakdown of the U.S.-sponsored peace talks in Mar, 2014.– NNN-WAFA