Erakat says Israel hiking book ´incites violence´ (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/27/12)
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Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has condemned an Israeli hiking
book that he said makes the West Bank a part of the Jewish state and
incites violence against Palestinians.
The guidebook "considers the occupied West Bank part of Israel and
incites... violence against Palestinians," Erakat said in a statement
issued Thursday by the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
His remarks came after Haaretz newspaper reported Israel´s defence
ministry had given the book to thousands of families ahead of the
country´s memorial and independence day celebrations.
A gift to Israelis who lost relatives in military service and
militant attacks since 1948, the publication contains suggested treks
in Israel and the West Bank.
Haaretz noted that in some cases, hikers were advised to "bring a
weapon, as the trail is located near an Arab village" or "a Bedouin
In the statement, Erakat described the book as "an outrageous case of
incitement to violence against Palestinians that reflects Israel?s
official policy and mindset.
"It should be of grave concern to the international community," he
was quoted as saying.
"By issuing a book on trails in Israel that includes at least 50
sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Israeli Defence
Ministry exposes the true agenda of this government; nothing but
abject disregard to international law, and the international
consensus on the two-state solution."
Erakat said the book also gives Palestinian villages and areas
This showed "Israel is intent on taking over the entire Palestinian
Territory rather than reaching a comprehensive and just agreement to
the conflict based on the two-state solution," he said.
The defence ministry denied it was responsible for selecting the
routes in the book.
"The various tracks and hikes in the book were chosen by a committee
of bereaved parents," a ministry official told AFP in a written
response to a query.
"The Minister of Defence signs off on the gifts every year and
respects the choice of the bereaved families." (Copyright © 2012
Agence France Presse. 04/27/12)
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