Palestinian Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: European Recognitions a First Step towards Statehood

Warm applause from members of the Spanish government for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he announced recognition of the State of Palestine (AFP)
Warm applause from members of the Spanish government for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he announced recognition of the State of Palestine (AFP)
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Palestinian Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: European Recognitions a First Step towards Statehood

Warm applause from members of the Spanish government for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he announced recognition of the State of Palestine (AFP)
Warm applause from members of the Spanish government for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he announced recognition of the State of Palestine (AFP)

Leader in the Fatah movement, Mounir Al-Jaghoub, said that the strong Saudi pressure and Arab diplomacy in the past few months had a major role in influencing the three European countries, Spain, Norway, and Ireland, to recognize the Palestinian state.
Al-Jaghoub noted that several reasons led to this recognition, including the strong Saudi position regarding the establishment of the Palestinian state, Arab and Palestinian diplomacy, and the feeling of remorse in many countries that were unable to stop the Israeli crimes.
Norway, Spain, and Ireland announced the recognition of the State of Palestine, to come into effect on May 28, in a step that the Palestinians considered a strong support for the two-state solution.
The decisions came a few weeks after the meeting of the ministerial committee assigned by the joint extraordinary Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh, which was chaired by Saudi Arabia, and attended by foreign ministers of several countries, including the three European states.
The meeting discussed the recognition of the Palestinian state and the necessity to adopt a comprehensive approach towards a reliable and irreversible path to implementing the two-state solution in accordance with international law and agreed upon standards.
“Saudi Arabia has great political power. It has a pivotal and pressing role, and enjoys a strong economy,” the Palestinian official underlined.
The Palestinians widely welcomed the tripartite recognition of their state, describing it as a “historic moment,” but Israel pledged that the consequences would affect the Palestinians and the relevant countries.
Tel Aviv recalled its ambassadors to Ireland, Spain and Norway “to conduct emergency consultations,” and later rebuked the ambassadors of these countries to Israel. Israeli sources said that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering taking further diplomatic steps against Norway, Ireland and Spain, “including canceling the official visit to Israel and entry visas for diplomats.”
President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor for international relations, Riyad al-Maliki, said that the recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Norway, and Ireland is a pressure card on the Security Council countries to deal responsibly and seriously with the Palestinian request to become a “permanent member” of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, as Portugal was expected to join the rest of the European countries, Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Rangel said on Thursday that his country would maintain the position taken by the previous socialist government, which resigned last year, to be a mediator in the peace process while awaiting the right time to make this decision.
The Portuguese Foreign Ministry spokesman had stated that his country supports a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis, but does not consider the present time to be appropriate to issue this decision.

 

 

 



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
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UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.