Staying with the Palestinian representative’s interview on the ABC, Dr Izzat Abdulhadi said his government had remained peaceful and his people deserved statehood.
Abdulhadi represents the Palestinian Authority in Australia in a role akin to a diplomatic envoy. Fatah, a secular, more moderate political rival to Hamas, is in power in the West Bank. Hamas which is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Australia and other countries, controls Gaza.
When asked if he held Hamas responsible for the current suffering of Palestinians, as suggested by Israel’s ambassador to Australia at the National Press Club earlier today, Abdulhadi said the Palestinian government opposed killing civilians from both sides in accordance with international humanitarian law.
“Our own approach was peaceful all the time for the last 40 years to achieve a negotiated solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and I mean, our own people adopt the non-violent resistance. So this is our position on what happened,” he said.
“But I think the immediate goal now is to save lives in Gaza and to see how we can guarantee sufficiently humanitarian assistance to our people in Gaza, and to prevent more deaths in Gaza.
“In two days, hospitals will not be able to work because of lack of fuel and I agree totally with the Secretary-General of the United Nations for saying that this is a clear violation of human rights and clear violation of international law and it’s a collective punishment. It’s a crime by the international law.”
When asked about the Israeli hostages held by Hamas, Abdulhadi said he was sympathetic but added that Israel held 500 Palestinian administrative detainees – prisoners held captive without a trial – with no condemnation from the international community.
“Of course, I support, have sympathy towards the hostages, children, women in Gaza,” he said. “I hope they will be released soon, but I think we should stop this double standard in the western countries to look with one eye to what is happening in Palestine and ignore totally the historical context of the problem and ignore totally the Israeli aim to annex West Bank and not support the determination for Palestinian people in their own statehood.”
Abdulhadi said the 14 million Palestinians deserved statehood.
“My message is peaceful,” Abdulhadi said. “It’s a view to implement and enforce the two-state solution.”
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