Photo: AFP
PA Minister Rajoub
Photo: AFP

PA minister: Settlers not welcome in Palestine

Palestinian minister Sheikh Nayef Rajoub says Olmert’s statement that West Bank settlers could live in Palestinian state is clearly unrealistic. ‘We don't want them, and I'm sure that they, considering their arrogance and violence, don't accept the idea either’

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statement that Jewish settlers would be allowed to remain in Palestinian territory after the pullout from the West Bank, is irrelevant, Sheikh Nayef Rajoub, waqf and religious affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority told Ynet Friday.


"The settlers' behavior meted out a death sentence to any possibility of coexistence between us and them," he stated.


Sheikh Rajoub said that as a Hebron resident he knows there is no way settlers would be allowed to live in a Palestinian state. "We don't want them, and I'm sure that they – with their arrogance and violence – do not accept the idea as well. The only solution is therefore that they leave us and our land alone," he said.


"It is obvious that the settlers' forceful presence on our land is illegal. It's unacceptable that these robbers live alongside us. Their behavior here in the Hebron area and all across the West Bank has turned Palestinian people, land and property into constant sufferers from their violence. Our experiences with them thus far leave no question about such a possibility,” Rajoub said.


And under no condition would they would be accepted in Palestinian country, if one should be establish?


"I do not think such a possibility exists. The only solution is for them to be evacuated and removed from our land. These people cannot stay here."


But not all the settlers are the same. Not all are violent and not all of them live in the West Bank because of ideological reasons. And besides, if a foreigner wants to live here you wouldn’t let him?


"A non-Jewish foreigner is a different question. We aren’t against the Jews as Jews, as a religion. We are against those settlers because of their behavior and the immense suffering they have caused us, and the large number of victims their conduct has cost. Settlers’ behavior did not leave us with the option to classify who among them is extremist and who is moderate."


'Olmert's words constitute governmental commitment'


Attorney Yossi Fuchs, one of the leaders of the judicial struggle against the realignment plan said that Olmert’s words in Jordan constituted a governmental commitment, so to speak. In a letter Fuchs sent to Olmert, he claimed that now the state is obliged of “demand from the world to provide Jews with an international security umbrella so that the fate of Jews in Hebron, for example, won’t be as in 1929.”


Fuchs added, “The realignment plan is nothing but a unilateral surrender that won’t achieve anything but putting most Israeli towns in the range of Qassams that fall every day like rain on the country, and it will lead to the deterioration of the country’s security, as the security establishment has warned for a long time.”


He concluded the letter: “It must be ascertained that the government will fulfill your governmental commitment and does not decided to forcefully uproot Jews from Judea and Samaria, which constitutes a war crime according to the legal international definition.”


Aviram Zino contributed to the report.


פרסום ראשון: 06.23.06, 16:37
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