“We, the Palestinians, should not rely on any party but ourselves to change reality. We should not wait for a change heralded by the West. . . . The Palestinians should be the real promoters of the change they want to see on the ground,” Khalilyeh stated
“Israel’s illegal settlement activity has been going on for decades,” he said, warning of underway schemes to hold sway over more Palestinian lands in favor of illegal settlement expansion. “Israel fulfilled the construction of 68% of the 771-kilometer-long apartheid wall, which cuts the occupied West Bank from limb to limb,” said Khaliliyeh.
According to the researcher, the apartheid fence is expected to culminate in the annexation of another 13% of West Bank land lots. Khaliliyeh also raised the alarm over Israel’s destabilization of Jerusalem’s demographic identity by remapping the city’s borders and expanding the occupied territories from 6.5 kilometers to 71 kilometers.
In Khalilyeh’s view, the so-called Greater Jerusalem Plan aims to wipe out the city’s geo-demographic character in an area taken over by 320,000 Israeli settlers. However, the city has been a home only to 270,000 Palestinians, after thousands of native inhabitants have faced forced dislocation. 130,000 Palestinians are expected to be forced out of Occupied Jerusalem should the Greater Jerusalem scheme reach its closing stages, the expert noted. He slammed the silence maintained by the U.S. administration prior to the electoral race vis-à-vis Israel’s illegal settlement activity. Khaliliyeh also denounced the apathetic stance adopted by the international community and the European Union, whose reactions have barely gone beyond verbal condemnation.