Opinion Piece

Special Remarks by H.E Maj.Gen(retd) Moosa Ali Jaleel High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan


Special Remarks by H.E Maj.Gen(retd) Moosa Ali Jaleel High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

 

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Greetings, As-salamu alaykum & a very good afternoon to you all.

First of all, allow me to thank the Muslim Institute for inviting me here to articulate the sentiments of the Government and the People of Maldives at this very important seminar on Palestine expressing the solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Palestine. I would also like to applaud the Muslim Institute for organising this important and timely forum.

On behalf of the Government of Maldives, the People and on my own behalf I strongly condemn the offensive operations by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on the Palestinian Gaza Strip, launched on 8 July 2014 after the escalations between Israel and Hamas, killing the children and civilian indiscriminately. Violations of international humanitarian law cannot be accepted. The helpless, the defenseless Palestinians who have no place to hide or no place to run are being killed, their homes devastated and the basic necessities destroyed.

In fact, I would like to reiterate the President of Maldives HE Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s official statement on 10th July 2014 condemning the continued Israeli aggression and the gross violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The President described the aggressions as a deliberate massacre of innocent civilians by Israel and noted that Maldivians empathize with the suffering that our Palestinian brothers and sisters are enduring during the holy month of Ramadan.

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President Yameen also called on Israel to bring an immediate end to the airstrikes; an end to the incursions; and an end to the degrading and inhuman treatment of the Palestinians and start recognising and respecting Palestinian rights, particularly the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people. The President urged Israel to lift the blockade; to dismantle the wall and the illegal settlement; and to return to the negotiation table. It is only through negotiations that a conducive environment could be created where both Palestine and Israel could live side by side in peace.

During a telephone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Yameen said that no nation can truly understand the constant fear and heartbreak that the Palestinian people are subjected to each day. The President further condemned the gross violation of human rights being committed by the Israeli government and said that he will continue to pray for Palestine.

President Yameen also assured President Abbas that his government would undertake all efforts to encourage international condemnation of Israeli violence.

The Palestinian president expressed his appreciation for the continued support being lent to Palestine by the Maldivian government, particularly at an international level. He also thanked President Yameen and the Maldivian people for holding Palestine in their prayers during this difficult time.

Furthermore, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed met with UN Resident Coordinator in the Maldives, Dr Makjemal Magtymova, at the President's Office in Male on 14 July 2014 and requested the UN to take timely action against Israeli aggressions towards the Palestinian people in Gaza. Vice President Jameel also called on both sides to exercise restraint during this volatile period.

Similarly, on the 13 July 2014, the Maldives Foreign Minister Ms Dunya Maumoon called for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict in Gaza. Quote “Israel must stop the invasion of Gaza, it should stop the killing, the airstrikes, and declare a cease-fire, and start dialogue with Palestine” Unquote

The Foreign Minister also said that the Government of Maldives welcomes the Statement issued by the Security Council of the United Nations, calling for de-escalation of the situation in Gaza, the restoration of calm and the restitution of the November 2012 ceasefire. The Maldives calls on the State of Israel to heed the international community’s calls and respect international humanitarian law. Foreign Minister said “the Maldives believes that the Security Council needs to make stronger decisions as provided for by the UN Charter to stop Israeli aggression in Palestine”.

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The Foreign Minister has also called on the international community to intensify efforts to cease the ongoing violence in Gaza, and to ensure that any breaches of international humanitarian law are investigated and prosecuted. She urged on to the international community to make all efforts to find a stable and lasting solution to the crisis in the Middle East. The Foreign Minister stressed that Maldives stands completely against Israel for its human rights violations and assured full support to Palestine at all international forums and that the Government of Maldives is in contact with the Palestinian authorities in order to find a way to assist the Palestinians in Gaza. The Foreign Minister also said that the Maldives - a member of the UN human rights council - would take the issue of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, at the human rights body.

The Maldives on 21st July 2014 announced plans to ban the import of goods made in Israel, and dissolve three agreements between the two countries, as Israel pressed on with a blistering assault on Gaza taking the Palestinian death toll above 500. On 25 July 2014. Maldives' ban on Israeli goods import. Commissioner General of Customs Mr Ahmed Mohamed has urged importers to refrain from importing any goods manufactured in Israel.

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On 23 July 2014, in Geneva, The Maldives strongly condemned the ongoing gross violations of human rights by the State of Israel and called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem, particularly in the Gaza strip. In the statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Abdullah Hameed, Ambassador at Large, during the ongoing Special Session on Palestine, the Maldives condemned the mass killings and the daily massacre of innocent civilians including women, girls and boys and infants in Palestine by the occupying power, Israel. The Maldives further called on countries to immediately stop providing arms and finance to Israel to carry out the killings in the Gaza strip.

In his statement Ambassador Hameed, also supported the call to immediately dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem, particularly in the Gaza strip.

In addition to the Government of Maldives condemnation to the atrocities conducted by the Israeli Government and Maldivian Government’s efforts to work with the international community for a ceasefire between Palestine and Israel to end the conflict; many Political parties, NGOs and individual Maldivians at large enraged by the international news on Gaza & the Video clips of the brutality, decided to support & render solidarity with Palestinians. This entails the mass demonstrations by the people regardless of their political affiliations with the political parties They are also voluntarily working to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. Initially, one of the major political parties, Adhaalath Party has opened Dollar and Rufiyaa accounts in the Bank of Maldives (BML) and the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) for the Gaza fund Maldives effort, a fund raising initiative to collect relief aid for the Muslims affected by the Israeli aggression in Gaza. The Gaza solidarity fund's purpose is to provide financial assistance to the helpless Palestinians and express Maldivian solidarity to brothers & sisters of Palestine.

The Maldivian Red Crescent announced its own initiative to raise funds for the Palestinians affected by the Israeli aggression in Gaza. The Red Crescent’s Palestinian wing is seeking $14.7 million over the next seven months as humanitarian aid to the people affected by the conflict. The organization has sought the assistance of its sister organizations across the world to reach that target.

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The Help Gaza Telethon, a Maldives media initiative and a coordinated media effort, was conducted from 8th August 2014 to 10 August 2014. All Maldivians regardless of age or political affiliation joined hand in hand to raise funds for the humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians and a total of 20 million Rufiyaa were collected from the Telethon. This is a commendable contribution from a population of 350,000 people signifying the solidarity that Maldivians bestow on our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

The Maldivian Red Crescent with the help of Qatar Red Crescent will deliver the funds to the people of Gaza in the form of food and medical equipment.

In conclusion, echoing the stance and concerns of the aggressions, the outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who in her statement of 23 July 2014 has also stated that Gaza has been subjected to daily intensive bombardment from the air, land and sea, employing well over 2,100 air strikes alone” since Israel’s operation “Protective Edge” commenced on 7 July, killing over 600 Palestinians of which “around 74 percent of those killed so far were civilians”.

Further the strikes targeting to the UN shelter whose coordinates were pre notified to the Israeli Military by UN are cowardly and shameful acts on the part of Israel. Thereby the international community has a duty to put pressure to stop the killing and to end crippling blockade of Gaza.

Referring to the latest updates and the investigations carried out by various independent organizations on Israeli air attacks in Gaza show that Israeli army was targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians. These unlawful attacks, those do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy the civilian properties are in violation of the laws of war. Therefore deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes.

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Finally, conflicts cannot be resolved by brutal force. It has to be resolved diplomatically through negotiations. Therefore, once again, on behalf of the Government and the People of the Maldives, I would like to reiterate and call upon the international community to resolve Palestine Israel conflict amicably through negotiations and create an environment where they could live side by side peacefully.

May Allah SWA bestow his heavenly blessings on the Palestinian brothers & sisters. Amin.

Thank you & As-salamu alaykum

These remarks were given by His Excellency Maj Gen (R) Moosa Ali Jaleel High Commissioner of Maldives to Pakistan on the occasion of Seminar on Palestine Conflict: Obliteration of Human Rights organized by MUSLIM Institute”, in collaboration with, “World Muslim Congress”, on Monday, 11th August 2014, at Islamabad Club, Islamabad


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