Statement of the Ambassador of the State of Palestine, Marwan Toubassi, about the visit of Mr. Yulli Edelshtein

As the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Hellenic Republic it is with great concern that I receive the news about Mr. Yulli Edelshtein, the speaker of Israel’s Parliament “Kenesset” invitation to Greece and giving him the platform to address the committee for foreign affairs and defense in the Hellenic Parliament.

Mr. Edelshtein who arrived in Israel as an immigrant from the ex-Soviet Union in 1987 lives on an illegal Israeli Settlement and is a strong supporter of settlement building on Palestinian land. He is against Palestinian statehood.

The two-state solution and opposition to illegal Israeli settlements have been central to the Greek government’s policy on Palestine for over the past decades. Recently H.E. the Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, during his visit to Palestine reiterated that Greece position on Israeli settlements is clear and unchanged: they are illegal under International law and constitute obstacles to peace. The Greek position is clear on supporting the establishment of the State of Palestine on the pre1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital as part of the peaceful permanent solution based on the two-state solution.

It is not very long ago that Greek parliament mandated by the friendly Greek public voted unanimously by the members of all respective Greek political parties for the recognition of a Palestinian State. This is something that Mr. Eldeshteimn opposes. He even supports initiative such as “lobby for greater Israel” whose members want to colonize the whole of the Palestinian occupied lands. He said in recent articles that he is proud to represent the “Kenesset” and the State of Israel including as a settler of “Judea and Sameria” in other words the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Israel is building even more illegal settlements and expropriating more and more Palestinian lands. To date more than 237 settlements are built on the land of the Occupied State of Palestine and there are more than 650,000 settlers in what constitutes a creeping annexation in clear breach of international law and Geneva conventions. It’s worth mentioning here that Yuli Edelshtein lives in the settlement of “Neve Daniel”, near Bethlehem. He is against the two-state solution and against peace.

We are confident that the Hellenic parliament members will take the opportunity of this visit to pursue the needed pressure on Israel to abide by the desire of the International Community and to abide by its resolutions to end its occupation and its illegal settlements policies in support of establishing the Independent State of Palestine on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, as the only way for real peace and stability in our region, and the whole area in the East Mediterranean.

Marwan Toubassi

Ambassador of the State of Palestine