Sultanate expresses solidarity with Palestinians
Sat, 19 May 2012
MUSCAT — The Palestinian Embassy in Oman in collaboration with the Omani Society for Writers and Literati, marked the 64th anniversary of Nakba Day (Catastrophe) under the auspices of Shaikh Abdullah al Majali, Deputy Chairman of Majlis Ash’shura, in the presence of a number of ambassadors and officials at Muscat College.
A documentary filming part of the Israeli seizure to the Palestinian lands in 1948 was screened on the occasion. The event shed light on various aspects of Nakba through lectures and photographs and urge all independent, peace-loving people to reinforce their stand against the continuing Nakba, and called for the right of return for seven million Palestinian refugees and freedom for Palestine.
Alas, 64 years after the Nakba, Palestinians continue to struggle for their right to return, for freedom from occupation, for justice, and against the Nakba that continues today, said a leading Muscat-based Palestinian expert. A leading Muscat-based Palestinian expert said “one of the four senior leaders while marking Al Nakba called upon the international community to pay its historic debt to the Palestinian people.”
Hisham Wasef, a high-ranking official in the Palestinian Embassy here, said in a statement Palestine’s Chief Negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat has stated that “the Palestiniancatastrophe (Nakba) of May 15 six decades ago saw the forced expulsion of almost 70 per cent of the Palestinian people and the destruction of over 400 Palestinian villages”.
“Sixty-four years ago, a nation’s thriving society and rich culture was forced into exile and mass expulsion. Today, the international community has the moral responsibility to repair what has been done by putting an end to Israel’s impunity and realising the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians to self-determination, independence, and return, in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions,” said Dr Erekat.
Dr Erekat added, “Al Nakba is a somber occasion that the international community must use to right the historical injustice that befell the Palestinian people. During the past sixty-four years, Israel has violated dozens of UN resolutions that recognise and support the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and return. This continued violation has made a mockery of the international system and threatened international peace.”
“Today, eleven million Palestinians around the world remember the loss and injustice of that dark era while reaffirming their commitment to ending their exile and oppression. We honour our rich history on the land while persevering in our march towards freedom. If Israel is truly interested inpeace, it should recognise the right of return and the suffering of our people,” he added
Ever since May 15, 1948 when Palestine was destroyed by the collaboration of Britain and underground Jewish terrorist groups — the Haganah, Stern Gang and Irgun — Israel has never shown an interest in the two-state solution and has trampled upon the most basic rights of Palestinians, thus disregarding many UN resolutions, said Wasef.
All Palestinian leaders say in one voice that Israel has been doing everything possible to destroy the prospects for a peaceful solution and to render attempts at reaching a just and agreed settlement to the conflict meaningless, Wasef told the Observer. They also see the Nakba as the defining event in Palestinian history and collective struggle as Palestinians and their well-wishers around the world commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe). Wasef says: “all our leaders agree that the Nakba is the reason that the Palestinian struggle exists, and gaining momentum.
The basis of Palestinian position is UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which “affirms the right of return, restitution and compensation for Palestinian refugees,” said Wasef. All Palestinian leaders agree that once Israel recognises the right of return, all Palestinian refugees must begiven options and allowed to choose how they want that right to be implemented. Those options must be meaningful and must include return to their original homes and villages. For there to be a just and lasting peace, their choices must be respected, said Wasef. Today, over 7 million Palestinian refugees live in exile.
Expressing his disappointment with Netanyahu on this issue, Dr Erakat stated that “By refusing to even recognise refugee rights, Netanyahu is closing the door on peace.” Palestinian leaders across shades of thought believe that the Catastrophe (Nakba) continues to this day and the use of veto power against the oppressed people of Palestine on many occasions is a travesty of truth and justice, said Wasef.
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