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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Despite global silence, senior Qatari official condemns Israeli crimes


Human rights groups say that Israel continues to commit crimes against Palestinians in the absence of accountability.

Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater called on world leaders to take action in halting the illegal Israeli occupation as part of the new year resolutions for 2022.

“2021 World leaders -rightly-battled to preserve Afghan Women rights. Will they put 10% of that effort for Palestinian women and children after 70 years of: ethnic cleansing, killing, crippling and arbitrary detention, using prohibited weapons, targeting journalists,” said Al Khater in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

The Qatari official shared a video of the Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna, in which he reminded the international Christian community that “celebrating Christmas without paying attention to Palestine would be meaningless”.

Along with the video, Al Khater added poetic phrases by renowned Lebanese poet Rachid Salim El Khoury, widely known as the “village poet”, in which he expressed the importance of “brotherly love” in the region.

“Only our brotherly love will rise in the East.. if you mention the Messenger of God in kindness, convey the greetings of the poetic villager to him,” read the verses shared by Al Khater.

The senior Qatari official went on to take aim at the illegal demolition of Palestinian residences, with recent videos showing Israeli forces holding unarmed home owners at gunpoint while they watched on helplessly as their houses were demolished.

Choose the right answer, Israeli 70 years [of] occupation is: violating women/human Rights? The last colonial apartheid system on earth? Yet, NO women rights/boycott heroic calls coz: it’s above intentional law before they demolish/kill they don’t say Allah Akbar so it’s [okay],” said Al Khater, commenting on the recent videos.

Al Khater’s comments come amid a noticeable silence by the international community towards Palestinian suffering, as the Zionist state continues to act with impunity with no clear action being taken to put an end to the illegal occupation.

Critics of the international community point to the ‘soft language’ used by world leaders whenever they do comment on Israeli crimes, particularly when compared to denunciation of other states.  The issue of wording has become key in recent months with activists insisting that terms such as “apartheid”, “settler colonialism” and “forced dispossession” are used to accurately describe what is happening on stolen Palestinian land.

Over 70 years of land theft

For over seven decades, Palestinians have been witnessing their own ethnic cleansing with Israel continuing to make way for Jewish settlers from abroad.

Between 1947 until 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinian from a 1.9 million-strong native population were forced into becoming refugees in what became known as the Nakba (catastrophe), with more mass displacements taking place during the Naksa of 1967.

‘They had no mercy’: Palestinian remembers moment he was made a refugee in 1948

To this day, the Nakba continues as Israel demolishes more homes and continues to forcibly displace the indigenous Arab population from their land.

According to the UN, July recorded the second-highest number of demolitions in 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2020. During the first seven months of this year there was a 40% increase in demolitions and 87% increase in displacements in the illegally occupied West Bank.

The mobility of Palestinians is also heavily restricted, with more than 700 obstacles placed  around the West Bank including 140 checkpoints.

In order to get from one area to another, Palestinians wait hours at military checkpoints and are often assaulted by Israeli soldiers according to human rights groups including ISraelis ones like B’Tselem.

Over 140,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem have also been physically segregated from the West Bank by a 700km concrete wall built by Israel in violation of all international law.

Under what Human Rights Watch has described as an apartheid state, Palestinians are denied access to basic resources such as water and electricity without Israel’s permission as farmers struggle to harvest crops in their own villages.

This was seen during the olive harvest season of October, when at least 900 olive and apricot saplings were uprooted by Jewish settlers in the village of Sebastia, north of Nablus. Palestine’s olive trees are over 4,000 years old, making them some of the oldest in the world.

Meanwhile, mass arrests of Palestinians continue to take place on a daily basis.

According to Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer, there are at least 170 child prisoners, 500 administrative detainees and 32 female prisoners.

In total, at least 4,550 Palestinians are currently behind bars.

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