Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Israel waging war instead of US: Palestinian presidency

Israel is waging a war against Palestine instead of the United States, Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh has stated.

It came in a speech during the extraordinary meeting of information ministers of member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul where he pointed out that the US has obstructed several resolutions in the UN Security Council for a cease-fire and has sent aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea for Israel, meaning the war is run by US and implemented by Israel.

The spokesperson urged Arab and Islamic countries to pressure the US to stop the war on the Palestinian people and not to settle for statements.

“Gaza is an integral part of the state of Palestine. Israel will not win any war against the Palestinians. We have the will, determination, and sanctities. We will not surrender, and we have been struggling against occupation for a hundred years,” he said.

“Jerusalem and its sanctities are witnessing unprecedented violations by the Israeli occupation, the latest of which was the intention of the Israeli occupation to impose restrictions on the entry of worshipers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the upcoming month of Ramadan, which requires an Arab and Islamic stance in support of our people’s resilience,” he added.

He also urged the world to stand with the Palestine Liberation Organization, representing all segments of the Palestinian people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also said Saturday that he is set early next week to approve “operational plans” related to Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip hosting over 1 million uprooted Palestinians.

“At the beginning of the week, I will meet with the War Cabinet to approve operational plans in Rafah, including the evacuation of civilian residents,” Netanyahu stated in a news conference.

For weeks, Israeli threats to launch a ground operation in Rafah, adjacent to the border with Egypt, have been escalating despite mounting regional and international warnings of potential catastrophic consequences.

Netanyahu added, “We are working to reach another framework for the release of our hostages, as well as the completion of the elimination of the Hamas battalions in Rafah”, referring to the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance group.

“That is why I sent a delegation to Paris and tonight, we will discuss the next steps in the negotiations.”

Talks for a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas began Friday in Paris with an Israeli delegation led by Mossad chief David Barnea, CIA Director William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

Israeli media reported Saturday that the Israeli team had returned from Paris and spoke of “good negotiations and positive atmosphere”.

Daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted informed unnamed officials as saying that the talks were “good, even lasting longer than planned,” though there is still ground to cover.

The talks focused on four demands by Hamas that Tel Aviv opposes, including the return of all residents of the northern Gaza Strip and the evacuation of all Israeli army forces from that area, according to Israel’s official broadcasting authority.

Three more “contentious issues” exist, it reported, including stepped up humanitarian aid, the duration of the cease-fire, and the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released.

A previous cease-fire between Hamas and Israel had lasted for a week from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1, during which prisoners were exchanged, and humanitarian aid began to trickle into the besieged enclave. It had been mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the US.

Tel Aviv estimates that there are around 134 Israeli hostages in Gaza, while it detains at least 8,800 Palestinians in its prisons, according to official sources from both sides.

Rafah city is witnessing a large influx as it hosts at least 1.4 million Palestinians, including more than a million displaced individuals who fled to it due to Israeli army operations in the northern and central parts of the Gaza Strip, claiming it to be a “safe zone”.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas. The ensuing Israel attack has killed at least 29,600 Palestinians and injured nearly 70,000. Less than 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

According to the UN, the Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel, for the first time, has been accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, for its war against Gaza.

An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to provide and guarantee humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

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