Arab League slams Israel referendum law

By Middle East Online – 24 Nov 2010
www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=42694

Deputy secretary general says law does not take international law, foundations of peace process seriously.
CAIRO – The Arab League on Wednesday slammed a new Israeli law mandating a national referendum ahead of any withdrawal from annexed east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

The League’s deputy secretary general, Ahmed bin Helli, said the law “showed clearly the hostile nature of the Israeli government and the fact that it does not take international law and the foundations of the peace process seriously.”

Bin Helli accused the Jewish state of “putting obstacles, one after the other, in the way of all efforts… towards a peaceful resolution.”

“The Arab League is still waiting for the United States to put an end to this type of behaviour,” he said, describing the Israeli law as “abusive and provocative.”

The law, passed late Monday by a large majority, requires any government signing a peace deal that cedes territory in occupied east Jerusalem or the Golan, or any other sovereign territory within Israel itself, either to secure the approval of parliament or hold a national referendum.

Top Palestinian and Syrian officials have also condemned the legislation.

East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians regard as the capital of their promised state, was annexed shortly after the 1967 Six-Day war, while the Golan Heights plateau was formally annexed in 1981. Both were captured in the conflict.

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