New Delhi, Nov 29 (PTI) Palestine Thursday accused the US of not being a “fair mediator” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said the Trump administration’s stance on the issue has “blown the cover” of its foreign policy in the Middle East. Also Read - US Presidential Debate: "Look at China, Russia, India... Air is Filthy", Trump Justifies Stand on Climate Change
Palestinian envoy in New Delhi, Adnan Abu Al Haija, thanked India for its support for the cause and hoped that the Indian leadership will continue to “guide and support” it. Also Read - Malarkey: The Most Searched Word During US Presidential Debate 2020
“Some people say (US President) Mr Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen to the Palestinians. I don’t agree. Because, in what he is and what he does, he has blown the cover of the American foreign policy in the Middle East,” he said at an event here to mark the ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Ready, To Be Announced in Weeks, Says Trump In Final Presidential Debate
The envoy alleged that the US was never a “fair mediator” when it came to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The pro-Israel bias of the US has always been there for everyone to see, irrespective of whether it was Democrat or a Republican (administration).
“The US used to give an impression of impartiality (on this issue). With Mr (President Donald) Trump, that fake veneer is gone, and the real and true face of the American policy is out for everyone to see,” Al Haija said.
The event was hosted by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) at Sapru House and Head of the Mission, League of Arab States, Alyaa Ghannam and UN Resident Coordinator in India Yuri Afanasiev.
Former ambassadors of India Sanjay Singh and TCA Raghavan also addressed the audience, which included members of the diplomatic corps, retired foreign service officers, foreign policy experts and scholars.
India has been supportive of the Palestinian struggle and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his message to mark the occasion, said, “We hope for an early resumption of dialogue between Palestine and Israel for moving towards a comprehensive and negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Afanasiev read out the message of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the occasion.
“This year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes place at a time of turmoil, trouble and torment. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is providing indispensable services and needs our full support,” Guterres said in his message.
“I also urge, Palestine and all others with influence to restore the promise and viability of the two-state solution premised on two states living side by side in peace, harmony and withing secure and recognised borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both,” he said.
The Palestinian envoy, in his speech, accused Israel of adopting “unlawful methods” of appropriation of land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including claiming land as ‘state land’.
Last July, Israel adopted a “racist” law that crossed all the red lines and called it the ‘Nation-State Law of the Jewish People’, Al Haija said.
This law “denies the connection” of the Palestinian people to their historic homeland and “dismisses their right to self-determination” and their history, and heritage, as well as the UN resolutions relevant to the Palestine question and the agreements concluded with Israel”, he said.
“This law will inevitably lead to the creation of one racist state, an apartheid state, and nullifies the two-state solution… This law constitutes a gross breach and real danger, both politically and legally, and reminds us of the apartheid state that existed in South Africa.
“We therefore reject and condemn it in the strongest terms,” he said.
The envoy appealed to the international community to reject and condemn it, too, as a “racist, illegal law” and “deem it null and void”.
Thousands of Jews and Israeli citizens have rejected and protested this law and “56 Knesset (Israeli parliament) members, out of 120 voted against it”, Al Haija said.
The Palestinian envoy said a clear example of Israel’s policy of “collective punishment” is that the decade-long “inhumane and illegal blockade” against the Gaza Strip, and the long-standing restriction on movement of people and goods to and form Gaza, leading to an “ever-worsening humanitarian crisis”.
“Since last March, the Israeli military forces have killed more than 220 and injured 25,000 civilian protestors, children, women, medical teams, journalists, and others in Gaza,” he said.
Al Haija said the US withdrew the funding given to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and Palestinian hospitals, believed it will make us “buckle at the knees and accept its illegitimate demands”.
But, many “brotherly nations”, including India have stepped up and the deficit in UNRWA funds is “just 10 per cent” of what it used to be before the US decided to pull out, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.