BâTselem and Americans for Peace Now, affiliated to the Israeli Peace Now movement, on Friday, joined an informal UN Security Council session on Tel Avivâs continued construction of illegal settlements on the occupied territories, PressTV said.
At the meeting, BâTselem had said that the Israeli occupation âflew right in the face of its claim to be exercising âdemocracyâ and reminded that occupation was affecting even the smallest aspects of Palestinian lives and had to end,â PressTV added.
âThe UN Security Council must act and the time is now,â BâTselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad had said at the meeting, which later denounced Israel for building âillegal settlements,â paving the way for a Security Council resolution against Tel Aviv.
The speeches angered Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who took to Facebook, on Saturday, and said the two organizations that joined the âchorus of mudslingingâ against Israel and had recycled the calls that Israeli âoccupation and the settlements are the reason for the conflictâ with Palestinians.
He also vowed, according to the PNN, that he would bar Israelis from doing volunteer work at BâTselem as means of doing their military service.
Archive IMEMC post: 7/23/15Â BESA Poll: 53% of Israelis Agree on Settlement Evacuation
In response,Â BâTselem stated that it would not be intimidated by Netanyahu.
âWe will not stoop down to the prime ministerâs level. We will not be cowed and neither will the hundreds of thousands in Israel who opposed the occupation,â it said. âWe will continue to tell the truth: The occupation must end.â
Israel came about in 1948, when it occupied the Palestinian land along with expanses of other Arab territories during full-fledged military operations. The occupied lands also include Lebanonâs Shebaa Farms and Syriaâs Golan Heights.
In 1967, Israel occupied and later annexed the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds), and the Gaza Strip. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the territory under a crippling siege and regular deadly forays.
Palestinians now make up the largest percentage of refugees in the entire world, according to UN statistics.
Ever since the beginning of the occupation, the territories have been dotted with 120 settlements. There is international consensus that these settlements have been constructed on occupied territory and are, therefore, illegal.
Edited for the IMEMC by chris @ imemc.org
Related interest: 10/14/16 Palestine Advocacy Project Publishes Ads in Major University Newspapers Condemning Israeli Leaders