Ambassador and head of the Palestine mission in France Hala Abou Hassira accuses the Israeli prime minister of striking the Gaza Strip, not for fear of violence from Islamic Jihad as Israel says, but to win the next elections in november.
franceinfo: Do you fear a new war, like the one that killed 260 Palestinians and 14 Israelis last year?
Hala Abu Hassira: Israel is carrying out a new bloody aggression against the Palestinian people, against the occupied Gaza Strip and its population of two million besieged for more than 15 years. Unfortunately, this scenario repeats itself every time there are Israeli elections. It is important to remember the context. This new aggression is a continuation of the strengthening of the apartheid regime imposed by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people and it comes in the context of the upcoming Israeli elections. [en novembre] which show the competition and the one-upmanship between the current Prime Minister against a former Prime Minister to win an election.
“It is always by shedding Palestinian blood that we believe we are winning elections, that we believe we are pleasing and winning the sympathy of extremist Israeli settlers.”Hala Abou Hassira, Ambassador and Head of the Palestine Mission in France
This is the repetitive scenario, every year. Last year, the attack on the Gaza Strip was an attempt by Benjamin Netanyahu to win the elections. His successor, Yair Lapid, is doing the same this year to win elections against him. In 24 hours already, Israel has murdered 13 Palestinians including a 5-year-old girl, a 75-year-old grandmother, a 23-year-old young artist, 114 Palestinians have been injured and two million inhabitants are terrorized. We lack any international protection. Israel sees itself as a state above the law. This impunity guaranteed to the State of Israel encourages it to commit more war crimes, crimes against humanity.
Israel says it struck the Gaza Strip because it feared reprisals from Islamic Jihad after the arrest of one of its leaders. What do you think ?
What is the logic of justifying an aggression against the Palestinian people by the immobility of a reaction on the part of Islamic Jihad? Israel arrested an Islamic Jihad leader, waited for a reaction from the organization and, failing a reaction, decided to strike the Gaza Strip and kill Palestinian civilians. What is this logic of justifying the assassination of a people? Of the murder of children? The talks between the Islamic Jihad and Israel were being organized, via the Egyptian mediator, but Israel anticipated the results of these negotiations and decided on its own to strike the Gaza Strip seeking a reaction from the Islamic Jihad. As the current Israeli Prime Minister calls himself a man of peace in favor of the two-state solution, now is the time to seriously engage with the Palestinian leadership in talks, in negotiations that lead us all towards a just peace and lasting before it’s too late.
The European Union calls for “maximum restraint”. Does that reassure you?
No way. We are tired of statements that do not change the reality of apartheid and occupation on the Palestinian ground. Now is the time to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation, to end the impunity of the State of Israel and to hold Israel accountable for its crimes. It is important to speed up the investigation by the International Criminal Court into Israeli war crimes committed against the Palestinian people. The time has come for a real political effort to end apartheid and the Israeli occupation.