World, Middle East

Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water

Rabbi advisory allows Jewish settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 19.06.2016
Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water File Photo

Palestinian Territory

By Anees Bargouthi

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.

Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.

According to Israeli anti-occupation organization “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.

“This is an incitement and a call for killing the Palestinians,” Wasil Abu Youssef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

He said such opinions by Jewish rabbis “prove that Israel is not a real peace partner”.

“Dozens of similar orders were made by rabbis that called for killing Palestinians, robbing their lands and farmlands and destroying their property,” he said.

The PLO said in a statement that the rabbi’s order encourages settlers to stage assaults against Palestinians.

“Hundreds of incidents were documented against Palestinian residents because of such racist advisories,” said the statement issued by the PLO’s national office for the defense of land.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement building on the land to be illegal.

About 500,000 Jewish settlers currently live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, for a future state of Palestine.

Palestinian negotiators, however, insist that Israeli settlement building on Arab land must stop before a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.

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