OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — 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 Organization.
His remarks came after Haaretz newspaper reported Israel’s defense 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 encampment.”
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 Defense 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 Israeli names. — AFP