Palestinian Politician Calls for Arab States to Come Together

  • 11 November 2014

A Palestinian politician has warned of the threat ISIL poses to Palestine and urged Arab states to hold a conference on its 66-year conflict.

“Israel took 77 per cent of the land in 1948,” Nayef Hawatmeh, secretary general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said during a lecture on Monday.

“We call on the Gulf and the UAE to support a unified Palestine because this division opens all doors for entering into a vicious circle and opens the way for expansionist ideas for settlement.”

Mr Hawatmeh praised the UAE, its people and the founding President Sheikh Zayed for the support they provided to Palestine, and for recognising Jerusalem as an essential part of the Arab world.

He said Palestine again turned to the UAE and its Arabian Gulf neighbours for help.

His lecture, entitled Implications of Regional Developments on the Palestinian Cause, was presented at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies.

Mr Hawatmeh said regional turmoil, including the push by ISIL, made it harder for Palestinians to obtain their rights, freedom and social justice.

“This is due to the long inheritance of the politicisation of religion and vice versa,” he said.

He said all Arab parties should remain united in the struggle to rid Palestinian lands of Israeli occupation.

“We need all Arab countries, which value freedom and social justice, to help us because we, the Palestinian people, are under occupation,” Mr Hawatmeh said.

“It’s been 100 years of struggle, from 1917 to date, to accomplish what all Arab states have established, which is independence and freedom away from foreign protectorates.

“Let’s create an international conference for the Palestinian conflict. Each crisis has an international conference, like in Iran and Egypt.

“But Arabs should create such a conference as it’s been 66 years without solutions and Israelis are continuing their dangerous expansionist actions.”

Mr Hawatmeh said the Arab revolutions were the result of a lack of development, freedom and social justice.

“This is what we are witnessing,” he said. “And we should all join forces against ISIL and its branches towards social development and freedom in our countries.”

Mr Hawatmeh said every revolution and struggle should have a political programme and horizon.

“There are no successful politics without struggle.”

Aryam Al Afifi, head of media monitoring at the centre, said the Palestinian cause had gone through very difficult periods.

“International and local developments contributed to these changes and the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people, too,” Ms Al Afifi said.

“Recent years were proof of the suffering of the Palestinian people, the aggressions by Israel on Palestinians and their rights.

“It is the most important Arab issue that has not reached any solution to date.”

Mr Hawatmeh commended Sheikh Zayed for his efforts in providing independence and social development to his people.

“We remember what the UAE as a country, and its leaders and people, have offered to the people of Palestine,” he said. “The Palestinian cause was always alive in the hearts of the sheikhs who managed to build this beautiful country because the cause of Jerusalem is an essential part of the Arab world.

“The political and moral importance of the UAE’s support was also shown with the opening of a mosque in one of the suburbs of Jerusalem, and we consider this an honour for the people of Palestine and the UAE.”