Project Reports

An Exclusive Interview with the Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan Excellency Mr. Walid Abu Ali


Exclusive interview with the Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan Excellency Mr. Walid Abu Ali

On Thursday 17th July 2014 an exclusive interview with the Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan Excellency Mr. Walid Abu Ali was conducted at the Embassy of Palestine by the team of MUSLIM institute. Tahir Mehmood from MUSLIM Institute conducted this interview. The aim of this interview was to have views of the official representative of Palestine about the exact current situation of Palestine. Keeping in view the current situation of Gaza some questions were asked from the Ambassador of Palestine Excellency Mr. Walid Abu Ali. Details of this interview are as follows:-

Question # 01:

What is your opinion about more than sixty years of Israeli occupation, Israeli existence in the state of Palestine; its validity or invalidity?

Answer:

 

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Its great pleasure to have you in the Palestine Embassy and talk to you in depth about the pain of our Palestinian people, about the crisis, about this disaster carried out by the present Israeli government who are acting their aggression against our innocent Palestinian people during the holy month of Ramadan. Israel and Israeli government out of experience for the last six decades whenever they are pushed to the corner whenever they are in the internal crisis they try to export their crisis either to Gaza or to South Lebanon. Our struggle with Israel which started in 1948 for more than six decades still continues. We always look into the rights of return of Palestinians, our right to live in independent free democratic Palestinian state, to be able to achieve the right of our Palestinian people. Our Palestinian people unfortunately are classified into three categories, those groups of Palestinians around one & half million Palestinians living in Israel and they are fighting against the discrimination because they are not treated equally although they hold the Israeli citizenship but they are treated as second class citizens within Israel. Second class of our Palestinian people or second group of our Palestinian people, those Palestinian who are living in Gaza and in the West Bank including Jerusalem and they are suffering of the Israeli occupation. The third group of our Palestinians which is our Palestinian community living in the Diaspora and they are the immigrants distributed in all over the international community and they are fighting to achieve the right of return so they can go back to their homeland to Palestine. This struggle will continue, it will never have an end unless the Palestinians achieve their right, achieve their objectives by their independency, to live in a free Palestinian state with Bait ul Maqdas al Quds Sharif as its Capital.

 

Question # 02:

Excellency, Holocaust occurred in Europe and in result Jews were settled in Palestine. Under which right Zionists (Jews) were given land in Palestine?

Answer:

We have to go back to history, we have to go back when we were under British colonial rule. The idea of creating Israel was created by the UK at that time. Although during that period Jews were living in Palestine as a minority and they were treated fairly and equally within our country. We always had the Jews accepted as believers and this is the point where we have to clarify. There is a misunderstanding or confusion in understanding our struggle, our struggle is not with Jews, Jews are believers we as Muslim believe living with Christians and Jews treating them equally. You know in the last Aayat(verses) of Surat Al-Baqara

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

Translation. The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."

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So the dispute or the conflict or the struggle is not with the Jews; it’s with Israel where Israel represents Zionism and Zionism is western idea, a western political agenda where Israel represents this agenda in the region. So, Jews were living not just in Palestine, in so many Arab and Muslim countries and they were treated fairly and equally. The issue is not of the religion with Judaism the issue is Israel, the occupier. The main issue of Palestine at the moment is Occupation, since Israel occupied Palestine with the support of Britain in 1948 and the western European countries at that time. Continuous support of United States of America, the American administration to Israel until this moment emboldens Israel to perpetuate aggression and occupation. They reoccupied the rest of Palestinian territories under 1967 borders. Of course the right of Palestinian people is to resist and to fight for their freedom whether they are in Gaza or whether they are in the West Bank. Geographically our brothers and sisters in the Muslim Ummah there is no geographical link between Gaza and the West Bank. Before 1967, the Gaza strip at that time administratively belonged to Egypt and the West Bank administratively belonged to Jordan. But there was no geographical link between Gaza and the West Bank. And that’s why there is separation in geography, in between Gaza and the West Bank. That’s why our people in Gaza are isolated under siege for the last seven years, they have been under the Israeli siege and they are not allowed to move as if in a huge prison in Gaza. 1.5 million Palestinians are besieged in Gaza and they are under the Israeli pressure because they are unable to have any link with external world except through the Rafah crossing which is controlled by the Egyptians. We have our people in West Bank as well; they have absolutely no link with the external world except through the Jordanian borders. They are facilitated to move in and out of the West Bank in a little bit better than our people in Gaza strip. All in all this struggle continues in our Palestinian people until the Israelis and the international community their priorities and political agendas as Palestinians accepted that the two state solution and accepted to live side by side in an independent Palestinian state live side by side with Israel on 22% of historical of Palestine. You know when a Palestinian accepted to live in a 22% of the total size of the historical Palestine this is the maximum any Palestinian could live with just because that’s the wish and will of the international community who had pressurized Palestinians to accept such solutions. We accepted a solution and unfortunately Israel is not accepting it, we accepted a Palestinian state on 1967 border, a full independent Palestinian state. Unfortunately negotiations for the last two decades sponsored by the international community including UN, European Union, USA and Russia. All efforts for achieving such solutions had failed on the table of Benyamin Netanyahu and his govt. The present Israeli government, the present Israeli coalition are extremely against achieving a comprehensive peace solution which will normalize the relations between Palestinians and Israelis and give the Palestinians a chance to live independently and also to make this region peaceful, secure and stable.

 

Question # 03:

Excellency, now coming to the current situation in Gaza. Please tell us about e current situation and basis of the escalation of conflict in Gaza and the timing of escalation?

Answer:

As you know dear brother this Israeli aggression today is into tenth day, being carried out by the strongest, most powerful and highly equipped Israeli army against innocent Palestinians, against Palestinian civilians, against Palestinian women and children. Israel succeeded to convince and promote itself to the international community as it is defending itself from the Palestinian attacks. At the same time everybody knows who is the victim but unfortunately with the double standards of the international community when it comes to Israel and Palestinians, our bleeding continues in Gaza, our daily sufferings continue in Gaza, latest figures until this morning the (shuadas) martyrs become 227, injuries 1682, 2368 airstrikes in Gaza, 631 houses destroyed by the F-16 of Israel. And just imagine the comparison how can you compare when they say Israel has the right to defend itself, just imagine how they can compare the F-16 striking missiles against homes in Gaza with handmade rockets thrown from Gaza to Israel. And look into figures itself. These rockets to Israel from Gaza, injured no one, killed no one. And just compare the figures between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

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How many Israelis were injured? How many were killed? How many Palestinians were injured and killed? And you have the answer. This struggle carried out by Benyamin Netanyahu is trying to benefit out of the local, regional and international situation and all serve his agenda. Locally Benyamin Netanyahu was unhappy with reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Benyamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians to be responsible of the missing of the Israeli settlers who were found dead. But nobody is accusing Benyamin Netanyahu being responsible of over 15 year old Palestinian who was kidnapped by a Jewish priest with his sons and they beat him to death. These are the double standards. The whole international community condemned the three settlers missing and we don’t know until this moment who was responsible for that but at the same time the international community kept silent on the crime carried out against the 15 year old Palestinian Mohammad Abu Khubair who was kidnapped and killed by an Israeli priest. What is happening at the moment in Gaza is state terrorism carried out by the Israeli government against our innocent people. We need to talk about Gaza as Gaza is highly populated area on the earth. Gaza is 40 km North to South and 10 km East to West. This is the size of Gaza. 400 square km accommodate 1.5 million Palestinians. So each four Palestinian live in one square meter. If the Israeli F-16 and apaches throw apple and oranges on the head of these Palestinians, they will kill them. And just then they air strike Gaza with missiles, the most sophisticated and modern military ammunition against our innocent Palestinian. This gives you the results of number of causalities in Gaza strip.

 

Question # 04:

Excellency, It is reported that thousands of families flee from North Gaza. Could you please explain where they will settle & what is your stance about Israeli settlement in Gaza?

Answer:

There is no Israeli settlement in Gaza number one. Number two Israel is in the north of Gaza they are trying to evacuate about 10 thousand Palestinians to move out of the border areas so that rockets cannot be launched from that area against Israel. So they are trying to evacuate a green area in between Gaza strip and the border with Israel. That’s the one of the objectives of this Israeli aggression carrying out at the moment. Israel wants to limit the capabilities of our resistance in Gaza of rocketing Israel. Israel wants to evacuate border area out of Palestinians. These 10000 Palestinians who are evacuated to north of Gaza, at the moment temporarily they are at the UN mercy or in schools, thank God it’s summer now it’s not winter so these schools can temporarily accommodate them until we find out a solution for accommodating these people either by going back to their houses or to find a replacement where they can be residents.

 

Question # 05:

Do you foresee any Israeli agenda for settlement of their own people in Gaza?

Answer:

No, Israel had withdrawn out of Gaza as per the peace agreement. I don’t think they will go back to Gaza again. As I told you Israel is looking for the land, not for the people and they will never go back to the highest populated area and get settlements into Gaza strip.

 

Question # 06:

We always find dominant Israeli narrative in media reporting, why does western media never begin with Palestine pain?

Answer:

Because Israel controls the most famous international media. Who is the owner of CNN? Who is the owner of BBC? I always repeatedly said that Israel and the Jews in general are very well in controlling what I call the MM, money and media. They are very much powerful in controlling money movement around the world and the media as well around the world. So they are able to promote themselves as victims and that’s why priority is given to Israel. They are taking the pictures of Palestinian families and showing them in the west that they are Israeli families attacked by the Palestinian resistance rockets. They are trying to exchange realities or change realities and to convince the international community that they are the victims and they are agreed on that because they control the media.

 

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Question # 07:

International media is portraying that Israel itself is victim; do you think Muslims failed to establish a parallel and effective media to present their perspective and what steps do you believe should be taken to change this paradigm?

Answer:

I don’t want to laugh when you ask me such question. I was really, really in pain and hurt when Israel was carrying out its aggression and our Muslim Ummah was busy in watching the world cup, watching what’s going on in Brazil in terms of football matches. I was really sad to see that demonstrations in Washington, New York, Madrid, London and even in Tel Aviv itself and many of our Muslim capitals said nothing about situation in Gaza. This is the sadness. What media do we have of the OIC countries, 57 Muslim countries? What media agencies do we control which can be effective in the western community who are supporters of Israel. How can we convince the west in particular and those Israeli supporters for our rights?

 

Question # 08:

Israel approved Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire but Hamas rejected this Egyptian proposal. What exactly is this proposal? And why do you think Hamas rejected this proposal while Israel has accepted this?

Answer:

Let me just emphasize this and put it clearly. Our President, leadership of Palestinian people from day one started their contacts with the whole international community with the most powerful countries who can have and manipulate pressure on Israel to achieve a ceasefire to stop the bleeding in Gaza and killings in Gaza. Through Qatar, through Turkey, through Cairo, through European Union, contact with American administration, contacts through the OIC for the Muslim Ummah, our President and our leadership tried their best to put an end to this bleeding and stop as quickly as possible and to achieve a ceasefire as a priority and any details can be discussed later on. The Arab Foreign Ministers met in Cairo discussed the Egyptian initiative, if you ask me what is good in Egyptian initiative, the only thing Egyptian initiative is to achieve an immediate ceasefire to stop the killing over there. I agree with it, this initiative was, whether you are with it or you are against it, to me is the same as far as the bleeding of our people in Gaza continues. Top priority now, our President is in Cairo now and tomorrow he would be in Turkey he is trying to do his best to stop this. Why Hamas has refused this, Hams has signed a Hudna(A peace agreement) through the Egyptians with Israel in 2012, the Israel is trying to benefit out of the conditions of that Hudna and Hamas must improve the conditions of that Hudna the issue is not Hamas or Fatah or any Palestinian brigade or any Palestinian party, the issue is the Palestinian people, the victims who at the moment are bleeding are Palestinian people. We have to stop the bleeding, we have to stop the Israeli crimes, and we have to stop the Israeli aggression against our civilians, against our innocent people in Gaza. How? I don’t care whether it’s through an Egyptian initiative or American initiative or Turkish initiative, the most important thing is how we can get our Palestinian people to survive, to stop the daily deaths of our Palestinian people.

 

Question # 09:

Keeping in view the silence of the human rights organizations and countries who present themselves as champions for human rights, do you believe that they are a party to Israel?

Answer:

 

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My brother! The issue with the human rights unfortunately, I did mention to you earlier in this interview, the double standards. All human rights institutions are on the ground in Palestine on daily basis, they do witness the Israeli crimes against our people whether it’s check points, whether it’s through the killings or through the arrests, whether it’s against our prisoners, whether it’s against our women or our children whether it’s against our students whether it’s against our people in Gaza or in the West Bank, human rights are being abused by the Israelis regularly on daily basis. And unfortunately with the double standards, if an Israeli is hit by a Palestinian stone the whole international community stands on one leg supporting Israel. But if nineteen members of one family in Gaza after traveeh prayer are shot dead by Israeli missiles while Israeli F-16 injured 45 members of the same family, Israel has the right to defend itself. These are double standards I am talking about. Human Rights! Which human rights you are talking about? Israel is seen in the eyes on western world as a democracy in the region which maintains the human rights. What human rights they maintain by detention of our Palestinian prisoners for years without any sentence. Where are human rights in terms of women having abortion at check points? Where are human rights on Palestinian receiving no treatment and they die on check points in the ambulances? And the whole international human rights institutions are on the ground witnessing what I am saying day by day, go and read the reports of human rights institutions and you will know yourself how much abuse by Israelis.

 

Question # 10:

Do you think that US can play any constructive and decisive role in the solution of Israel-Gaza conflict? Do you see any commitment from their side or its just lip service?

Answer:

I believe yes, the American administration is one of the main powers who can put pressure on Israel to stop its aggression against people in Gaza. But unfortunately when you listen to President Obama himself, publically announcing that Israel has the right to defend itself, how can you expect from United States of America to play a fair role in the situation. We trusted the Americans through the negotiations for nine months, John Kerry paid twelve full visits to the region trying to convince Benyamin Netanyahu and Israeli government to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement and Netanyahu never listened to that. The only country that can pressurize Israel is the USA because the biggest donor for Israel is USA. America gives Israel around four billion dollars per year donated by the Americans. America is the most effective powerful country who can manipulate pressure on Israel to convince them to accept a comprehensive final peace agreement with the Palestinians.

 

Question # 11:

Do you believe that UN is committed to the resolution of the Palestine conflict; do you think they are effective?

Answer:

I don’t think they are. How many UN resolutions have so far been taken to support Palestine, and they are on the UN shelf, how many decisions were taken by the Security Council of UN? Where are the vetoes taken against it by the USA? The UN unfortunately is limited to what they can do; it’s similar to OIC and similar to what these countries can do. Unfortunately at the moment USA is the most powerful and they are the only country who can pressurize the Israel and convince Israel to sit down and achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

 

Question # 12:

What is the possible way forward from current crisis, long term solution to the Palestinian issue and how do you see the role of Muslim countries, the OIC, Arab League in this regard especially in the current crisis?

Answer:

Unfortunately the Muslim Ummah, Muslim countries, and the Arab countries are busy with their internal challenges and internal affairs and each Muslim country and each Arab country has its own difficulties and they trying to, you know, resolve their own problems. Palestine has been the issue for the whole Muslim Ummah and has been the top priority of all Muslim Ummah and all Arab countries but at the moment they have limitations in what they can do. The whole situation in the region, as I told you changing regionally and internationally, is for the benefit of the Israel not for the benefit of Palestine. We the Palestinians believe that we have to continue our struggle until we achieve our objectives in terms of having an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem Bait ul Maqdas as its capital where we can accommodate and have all our Muslim brothers hosted by the Palestinians because many of these countries have been hosting our Palestinian people for the last six decades.

 

Question # 13:

What measures can be taken to highlight the critical nature of Palestine issue in the Muslim world as well as international community?

Answer:

 

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Muslim Ummah has to keep and maintain Palestine on its top priorities as they always have been doing. Palestine has been unifying issue for all Muslim Ummah. I don’t think any Muslim around the world out of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world does not agree on Palestine as they all sympathize with Palestine, and they all pray for Palestine. The issue is Muslim leadership when we can get Muslim leadership, the Muslim Ummah unified, and work through agendas and work through priorities and prioritize the issues that need continuous support the Muslim ummah and also support Palestine emotionally and practically. I don’t think we are able to achieve our objective.

Click here to see the video of this exclusive interview.

 


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