SECRETARY General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Saed Erekat said yesterday that the international community has failed in its responsibility to correct the historical and continuing injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
On the 28th occasion of the declaration of independence of the State of Palestine, Erekat said the failure of the international community to achieve justice is reflected by its attempts to equalise the responsibilities of the occupier and the occupied. He said the failure of the international community ‘has only fuelled the Israeli culture of impunity and hatred, including its daily aggressions against our people.’
Erekat continued: ‘This historic moment also marked the painful concession of recognising Israel over 78% of historic Palestine. Israel met our historic compromise with more oppression and dispossession.’
He said the number of settlers today exceeds 650,000 as opposed to 180,000 28 years ago. ‘Our heroic people though, both in exile and in the homeland, have remained steadfast in the path towards freedom and independence.’
The PLO’s top official also said: ‘Our vision of peace is based on the Arab Peace Initiative: Two sovereign states on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and a just solution to the refugee issue based on UNGA Resolution 194, in exchange for full normalisation of relations between the rest of our region and the State of Israel.’
He added: ‘In contrast, Israel only offers plans for settlement expansion, regional tensions and further discrimination, racism and hatred.’ Erekat then again called in vain on the international community to end all relations with Israel’s settlement enterprises.
Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities continued their terror against the Palestinians by demolishing three agricultural structures in the Jerusalem district neighbourhoods of Silwan and Jabal al-Mukabbir yesterday morning.
Alaa Shweiki, a resident of the al-Thuri area in Silwan, reported that Israeli police and Jerusalem municipality inspectors stormed the area around his home and escorted bulldozers onto his property.
The bulldozers then demolished one structure roofed with steel tubes and tin sheets that he uses as a horse stable, as well as a shack for storing agricultural equipment. Also in Jabal al-Mukabbir, witnesses said bulldozers arrived under heavy military protection and demolished a structure roofed with steel tubes and tin sheets, reportedly built without a license issued by the Jerusalem municipality.
On Sunday, 12 Palestinians were left homeless when they were forced to demolish their apartments in Jabal al-Mukabbir, also in accordance with a demolition order that claimed the apartments lacked proper permits. The holocaust against the Palestinian people continues by a depraved Israeli state, supported, secured, armed and financed by the US and the UK.
This year is the 28th anniversary of the Declaration of Palestinian Independence. And next year is the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, that notorious statement by British imperialism promising Zionism that it had the backing of British imperialism to seize Palestine.
The current Palestinian leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas says 2017 will become the year when the Israeli occupation of Palestinian comes to an end. He said, in an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations, ‘We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the State of Palestine. This is the least Great Britain can do.’
The working class of the UK must make sure that this is exactly what happens. 2017 must be the year when the UK ruling class is forced to apologise to the Palestinians, and the year for the establishment of the Palestinian state. It must also be the year when the UK working class celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution by taking the power and smashing British imperialism.