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Obama should exert more pressure on Israel – Palestinian envoy

Weekly Trust: The Al-Nakba is surely an event that has some kind of relationship between the Israeli and the Palestinian people, sad from one end…

Weekly Trust: The Al-Nakba is surely an event that has some kind of relationship between the Israeli and the Palestinian people, sad from one end and exciting from the other. Can you give us a brief background about the event?

Aldaqqa: On May 15, 2010, Israel celebrated 62 years of its formation. For the Palestinians, that day marks 62 years since the Al-Nakba, which we term our national catastrophe; by which a majority of Palestinians were forcibly uprooted from their homes and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed. The Palestinians who were disposed, displaced and dispersed from their homeland alongside their descendants constitute more than 4.7 million refugees and their plight continues to this day. The core of the tragedy is that they continue to be denied inalienable human rights to self determination and freedom thus, continues to suffer dispossession and displacement.

Weekly Trust: Beside the remembrance of this sad event on your end, as a people, has there been any period of collective joy and celebration over the past decades or would there soon be any?

Aldaqqa: In addition to observing 62 unfortunate years since Al-Nakba, the Palestinian people will soon also be marking yet another unfortunate event, which is the passage of  43 years since the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land in 1967,namely;The West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip. The Palestinian people continue to suffer from the policies and oppression of Israel which have been in violation of all fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people and international humanitarian laws.

Weekly Trust: As the Palestinian people mark this day, what is your call to the international community?

Aldaqqa:The entire Palestinian people and its leadership  once again call on the international community to intensify effort to implement  the international law and some other relevant United Nations Resolutions in support of the right of the Palestinian people and a lasting and comprehensive peace settlement  with Israel on the basis of a two-state solution with the aim of realizing an independent, contiguous and viable state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side  with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre 1967 borders, and the attainment of a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with United Nations General Assembly( UNGA) Resolution 194(111)

Weekly Trust: Coming back to the conflict resolution process, what is really happening in respect of the Israeli/Palestinian peace talk at the moment?

Aldaqqa: Presently, there is a proximity talk through the U.S Middle East envoy, Goerge Mitchel.The talk has a time frame of four months, and if there is progress in the talks then it can lead to a more direct talk. Mitchel is to meet our leader, Mamoud Abbas and also the Israeli authorities. However, the discussions would mainly focus on the issues of security,Jerusalem, settlement in the West Bank, the need to halt settlement building, border issues and refugees, among others.

Weekly Trust: How would you describe the efforts of America and particularly, President Barack Obama in the peace process so far?

Aldaqqa: I think peace in the Middle East is in everybody’s interest  and the  United States is not excluded. I think he has done fairly well on the issue. He has shown concern. But it seems the Israeli are not listening to him very well. We think he needs to exert more pressure on them. Of course, he is trying but they keep on building settlements which is unacceptable to the agreement reached with them.

 Weekly Trust: What is the condition of people in Gaza presently?

Aldaqqa: It is very difficult because there is no reconstruction work going on because there is no access to roads to carry building materials into Gaza. Children cannot go to school. People are still suffering due to the actions of Israel.

Weekly Trust: The intra wrangling between the Hamas and the Fatah is really not helping matters in uniting the Palestinian so as to face an achieve a common goal. What is happening between the two political groups now?

Aldaqqa: The only peace initiative in that respect is the Egyptian Reconciliation Paper which called upon all Palestinian groups to unite in order to face a common goal. We have already signed the paper and we are still waiting for the Hamas to do same. We do hope they would soon sign it so that we put our heads together. Israel seems to be the major beneficiary of our internal wrangling and misunderstanding. We should unite so that the suffering of our people would stop.

Weekly Trust: From the perspective of the Arab world, what is the Arab block doing in this respect?

Aldaqqa: The Arab block made it clear that Israel should withdraw from all Arab territories in the Middle East and in turn, Arabian states would start diplomatic relations with Israel. However, the Arab Peace Initiative (API), which was adopted by the Arab League in Beirut in 2002, calls for an independent Palestinian state. The Arab Peace Initiative has been repeatedly reaffirmed by Arabian countries.

Weekly Trust: Despite all these efforts by the international community, America and everyone else, it seems Israel is unlikely to shift ground. In this respect, what other options do your people have to achieve your goal?

Aldaqqa: I think the international community should exert more pressure on Israel to accept the road map agreement which was an agreement reached by the two parties. Of course, I believe the two- state solution still remains the best option for both parties and the entire world at large.However,it is up to them to decide if they want a two state solution or not, but the whole word is in support of the two- state solution.


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