Stand with the people of Palestine: Ambassador Almassri

Beaven Dhliwayo

Palestinian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tamer Almassri has implored the world  not to forget that the people of Palestine are being persecuted continuously and a lasting solution should be reached to end this brutality.  

He said this in Harare on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People recently which serves as a reminder of the absence of inalienable rights, national independence, and sovereignty of the Palestinian people.

Territories in Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967, and there has never been a formation of an Arab state, even after Israel gained its independence in 1948.

“For as long as we have known it, Palestine and Israel have struggled for territories and have had shared borders alongside the city of Jerusalem. This has always been a major cause of concern and dispute, seeing as Palestine is mostly Arab-dominated, and Israel has always been Jewish-dominated. For decades, there has been a need to separate both states and make them independent. This gave rise to the adoption of Resolution 181 (II) on November 29, 1947,” said Almassri

“The resolution was the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which was a proposal that recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. This simply meant the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. The new states were to be formed two months after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, no later than October 1948. The Plan also called for an Economic Union between the proposed states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights.”

The resolution was all cut short and never fully implemented, however, with the outbreak of a one-year civil war in Palestine.

Following that, Israel became a country in 1948, but an Arab state was never formed.

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly called for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine, which was to start in 1978.

Ambassador Almassri reminded the international community that the Palestinian people were paying the cost of the unfortunate absence of justice in Palestine.

“We pay the cost because the United Nations imposed a resolution that created Israel in our own land but they did not apply the second part of the resolution to establish the Palestinian State. Our struggle is continuous until we achieve independence and end the Israeli apartheid occupation.

“This day is very important as it sends a message to the international community and to the UN to stop dealing with Israel as a superpower. Israel should be treated as a normal country and it should be punished for its crimes, aggressions, and apartheid regime that was built in Palestine in the 21st century.”

Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Kindness Paradza said Zimbabwe stands in solidarity with the Palestine People.

He said the two nations shared the same history of oppression and colonialism.

“We are in solidarity with you (Palestine) and we stand with the people of Palestine in your struggles,” said Paradza.

“We share the same history of oppression and also the history of colonialism to some extent. We fought in the trenches together. President Yasser Arafat and our former President Cde Robert Mugabe were good friends and also your predecessors who were here worked so hard to improve the relations between the State of Palestine and Zimbabwe.”

Deputy Minister Paradza condemned the recent killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was assassinated by the Israeli army.

“As the Government of Zimbabwe, we condemn what is happening in Palestine, the atrocities which are being perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli army.”

Also speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr. David Musabayana said the two nations share cordial relations.

“We have been friends for decades because of a common understanding, ideology and principles that we share,” he said.

In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Edward Kallon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, UN secretary general Mr Antonio Guterres said he was deeply saddened by the growing number of Palestinian civilians were losing their lives in the spiral of violence engulfing the occupied West Bank.

“The long-standing drivers of conflict including the ongoing occupation, settlement expansion, home demolitions and evictions heighten anger, despair, and hopelessness,” he said.

“Gaza continues to endure debilitating closures and humanitarian crises. I reiterate my call on the parties to engage to end the closures of Gaza and improve living conditions of all Palestinians. The United Nations’ position is clear, peace must advance, the occupation must end.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. Together, let us reaffirm our support to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security, and dignity for all.”

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