RAMALLAH, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi slammed the US administration’s recent moves as ‘unlawful and destructive’, urging governments worldwide to increase their contributions to UNRWA and to rescue multilateralism to achieve a just peace.
During a political briefing held on Tuesday at the PLO headquarters in Ramallah with diplomatic representatives in Palestine, Ashrawi introduced the modified changes to the PLO Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy and its work, and pledged closer communication and coordination with the diplomats on issues of joint interest and mutual cooperation.
Subsequently, members of the grassroots Right to Enter Campaign provided a thorough presentation in which they noted that Israel continues to control the population registry for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), causing serious harm to the Palestinian population.
Family unification has been frozen for nearly two decades, forcing families to relocate, live apart or face the constant threat of deportation. The Campaign also reported a clear escalation in restrictions on and denials of visas for foreign nationals wishing to visit, work, or reside with their families over the past two years with many of those affected being of Palestinian descent.
In that context, Ashrawi stressed, “Current conditions are unlawful and unsustainable. Families are torn apart, institutional sustainability is undermined, and healthy social and economic development is blocked.
We call on the international community to bring Israel to comply with international law and international humanitarian law and ensure its immediate articulation and implementation of clear and consistent procedures for administering entry into and removing restrictions on movement and longer-term stay in occupied Palestine, according to a statement issued by Ashrawi’s office.
Following the presentation, Ashrawi briefed the diplomats on the latest political developments, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ upcoming address at the UN General Assembly: “Given that the United States administration has undermined all the requirements of peace and since Israel has willfully violated its commitments and agreements under international law, there is an urgent need for responsible initiatives and positive engagement and intervention from governments worldwide.
We are also requesting the upgrading of the status of Palestine at the UN, particularly in view of Palestine chairing the Group of 77 bloc. We also urge Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres to implement a meaningful plan of protection which should include clear and workable mechanisms to ensure full protection of the Palestinian people under Israeli military occupation.”
Referring to the grave escalation in Israel’s egregious violations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, Ashrawi discussed its expansion of the illegal settlement enterprise in around occupied Jerusalem, its imminent plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, the deliberate targeting and killing of peaceful Palestinian protestors in the besieged Gaza Strip, the increase in settler colonial terror, and the acceleration of discriminatory and racist laws and legislation against all Palestinians.
Ashrawi also acknowledged the diplomatic mobilization and defense of Khan Al-Ahmar, calling on all diplomatic representatives and their governments to prevent its demolition by Israel.
She reviewed the US administration’s latest spiteful and irresponsible efforts ‘to blackmail and inflict unilateral punitive measures’ on the Palestinian people and leadership, in particular its decision to close down the General Delegation of the PLO in Washington D.C, as well as the defunding of Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem and UNRWA: “As a result of the US administration’s recent unlawful and destructive moves, we urge governments worldwide to increase their contributions to UNRWA and to rescue multilateralism to achieve a just peace.
Ashrawi also called on them to ensure protection for the vulnerable and to prevent both the US administration and Israel from pursuing such unlawful and immoral policies in total disdain for the global legal and political system.”
The discussion also addressed the latest domestic developments and the Egyptian-sponsored talks to end the rift and to achieve reconciliation, stressing that this should precede any talks on ceasefire and a period of calm.
At the same time, Ashrawi explained that the Palestinian people will not accept treating Gaza as a separate entity or as a humanitarian or economic issue, while emphasizing the fact that “it is a political issue that has to be politically and legally addressed to maintain the possibility of a viable and territorially contiguous democratic Palestinian state.”
Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency