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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Qatar condemns ‘excessive force’ against Palestinians as Jerusalem violence flares


Palestinians have faced attacks by far-right Israeli Jewish groups, chanting “death to Arabs”.

Excessive Israeli violence against Palestinians does little to help the peace process, Qatar’s Representative to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani said on Friday.

The Qatari official reiterated Doha’s calls for reaching a “fair, comprehensive and permanent settlement” in Palestine during the Security Council Open Debate on the situation in the Middle East.

The Qatari official warned that that the continued expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, attempts to annex lands and demolition of Palestinian buildings undermines the two-state solution.

“The policies of Judaisation in the city of Al Quds and attempts to harm religious sanctities, and the use of excessive violence against Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces does not help build the confidence needed to advance the peace process,” stated Sheikha Alya.

Sheikha Alya also stressed that the foundations for peace are represented in the commitment to a two-state solution based on international law and UN resolutions to establish a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 with East Al Quds as its capital.

Read also: Qatar ‘thanks’ Biden for resuming US aid to Palestine

The statement comes amid days of violence against Palestinians by hundreds of far-right Israeli Jews, who were chanting “death to Arabs” while carrying banners that read “death to terrorists”.

The controversial march was organised by far-right extremists La Familia through a WhatsApp group, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

“Burning Arabs today, Molotov cocktails are already in the trunk … the way I see it, an Arab dies today,” the group said.

The deliberate attacks by radicalised Israeli Jews involved illegally storming residences of Palestinians while attacking families who live in them.

The Palestine Red Crescent said more than 100 Palestinians had been injured, with 21 being hospitalised the ongoing assaults, with witnesses saying that the occupying Israeli forces were protecting settlers.

“The [Israeli] police protected the settlers march from the Jaffa street until they reached the Damascus Gate, and on the other hand, they fired sound bombs, tear gas, and exhaust water against Palestinians. It was an obvious bias,”Baraa Zighari, an advocate and the head of the Sabra institution, told Anadolu Agency.

Since the beginning of Ramadan on April 13th, Palestinians have been subject to increasing attacks by Israeli forces, preventing Muslims from holding evening gatherings outside the Damascus Gate.

“Palestinians love to relax in this area after evening prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the occupation [Israel] doesn’t like it. It’s a matter of sovereignty,” said Jerusalem resident Mohammad Abu Al-Homus.

Sheikh Jarrah evictions

Meanwhile in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah, up to 550 people are at risk of being forcibly evicted as part of Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign to clear the land for Israeli settlers.

Sheikh Jarrah is home to 3,000 Palestinians, all of which are refugees who were forced out of their homes in Palestine during the Nakba in 1948. The native population has resisted settlers since 1972.

Israeli authorities have been attempting to implement what it describes as a “demographic balance” in Jerusalem at a 70-30 ratio by illegally limiting the Palestinian population.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA], Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized up to 292 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem in the first quarter of 2021 alone. This led to the displacement of 450 Palestinians, of which 246 are children.

The numbers recorded in the first quarter of this year present a 121% increase in attacks against Palestinian structures and 126% in displacements.

On a monthly average, settler forces have demolished 97 structures, a 37% increase in comparison to 2020 numbers.

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