PLO’s Department of Culture and Information said in a press release that during a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) iftaar held in Jerusalem at the invitation of the Negotiations Affairs Department, PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi addressed on Monday 13th August, diplomatic representatives, local and international journalists, as well as Palestinian personalities, including Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Adnan Husseini, and members of civil society in Jerusalem. She discussed the latest political developments in Palestine, focusing on the fragile and dire situation in occupied East Jerusalem.
Dr. Ashrawi said, “With its legislation of illegal laws that contravene international law, Israel is alienating Jerusalem, the centre of Palestinian life, from its environs and indigenous people. The evacuation and transformation of the occupied city’s geography, culture, heritage and institutions are taking place internally and externally, and the extremist Israeli government is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing, not just with the confiscation of IDs but also with its racist marriage and reunion laws, whereby families are divided and unable to live together in Jerusalem.”
Dr. Ashrawi then discussed all the steps in which Israel is prejudging the fate of Jerusalem and continuing its illegal annexation of the city: “Israel is singlehandedly destroying the two-state solution with the continuation of its expansionist settlement policies in and around Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the eviction of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and the closure of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, particularly the Chamber of Commerce and the Orient House, the former headquarters of the Palestinian negotiation team. All of these illegal actions are in direct violation of signed agreements and international conventions.”
“Without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, there will be no Palestinian state, and without a Palestinian state, there will be no peace or stability in the region,” stressed Dr. Ashrawi.
Dr. Ashrawi honored the memory of the late Faisal Husseini, saying that “he was a true leader who embodied all the positive values of Jerusalem. He carried Jerusalem with him wherever he went, and he was truly a symbol of courage and leadership for all Palestinians.”
Dr. Ashrawi concluded by appealing to the international community to support the Palestinian bid for statehood and to intervene in Israeli measures that are destroying all chances for peace and stability:
“In light of the failed peace process and the inability of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal occupation of Palestine and its countless unilateral violations of international and humanitarian law, Palestinians will persist in their efforts to seek state status, whether in the UN Security Council or in the UN General Assembly. We reserve the right to undertake diplomatic and nonviolent means to approach UN agencies and organizations for membership, and such efforts, consistent with the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and freedom, are a test of global consensus and rule of law. Even though the timing has yet to be determined, we are coordinating our efforts with Arab and Muslim countries, as well as with the international community.”
“It is of the utmost importance for the international community to rescue Palestine from the jaws of Israeli unilateralism and to possess the political will to adopt tangible measures to put an immediate end to the military occupation of Palestine and the Palestinian people,” concluded Dr. Ashrawi.