Sixteen international authors who participated at the Palestine Festival of Literature, held from in several Palestinian cities from May 31 to June 5, released a statement condemning Israel's continued settlement construction and applauding the efforts of the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign. The statement, shared on Facebook, reads:
“Having personally witnessed the injustice visited upon the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel, it is with the utmost sadness and dismay that we – the undersigned international authors and artists – note Benjamin Netanyahu's approval this week of yet another 1,500 new illegal settlements units in the West Bank. This is particularly unfortunate at a moment when the Palestinians have formed a unity government that has been recognized by the international community.
Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories have long since been pronounced illegal by international law. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is itself illegal, and declared so by the international community through various UN resolutions.
Additional settlements can be seen only as an act of aggression, showing utter disregard not just for the human and civil rights of the Palestinian people, but for international law.
We applaud the non-violent efforts of the BDS campaign (www.bdsmovement.net) and express our solidarity with its demand that Israel should comply with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab land and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
We thus call for the Israeli Government to respect international law and reverse the approval of the thousand plus additional settlements units in the West Bank.
We furthermore call on the International Community to work to induce Israel to uphold basic principles of international law.
Sharif Abdel Khouddous
6th of June 2014.”