Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb. Al Ahram
Egypt’s Al-Azhar slammed on Sunday the Israeli government’s announcement that it would build thousands of settlements on the occupied West Bank, describing it as a “blatant transgression on Palestinian territories that won’t change its Arab identity."
“This decision is a blatant transgression against the occupied Palestinian territories and a provocation of the Palestinian feelings,” the statement by Al-Azhar, the world's leading Sunni Islamic institution, said.
Al-Azhar reasserted in its statement its rejection of what it described as Israel's “policy of imposing fait accompli.”
“This policy won’t change the fact that this is an Arab land and that the Zionist entity usurped the lands of the oppressed Palestinian people, the rightful owner of this land,” it added.
Al-Azhar demanded the international community take all necessary measures to stand against the “occupation practices by the Zionist entity which push the current situation to more complications."
“Those decisions are a slap to the UN security council’s resolutions as well a all the international decisions and laws related to the Palestinian state’s rights and their cause,” the statement read.
On Saturday, Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement that the settlements expansion by Israel in the occupied West Bank was a ‘violation of international legitimacy and resolutions by the UN Security Council’.
“Such policies by Israel aggravate the lack of trust between relevant bodies and undermine chances of launching constructive dialogue with the Palestinian side” the statement said.
On Thursday, settlement Watchdog Peace Now said that Israel has approved over 12,000 West Bank homes in 2020, a record high for Jewish building in occupied Palestinian territory, after approving the plan for the new settlement units.
The approvals make 2020 the highest year on record in terms of units in settlement plans promoted since Peace Now began recording in 2012, as according to the group.