Ismail Haniyeh, head of the national unity government in Gaza, criticized the international silence on what is happening to Palestinians in Gaza Strip, including the aggression and blockade, and said: “we’re surprised by this solemn silence.”
This came during Haniyeh’s reception of a large European delegation, on Saturday evening (16/1), before they ended their visit to the Strip, which lasted for two days. The delegation then left through the Rafah border crossing.
Haniyeh thanked the delegation for their visit to Gaza, noting: “Gaza has been suffering from the ravages of the siege for nearly four years.” He also thanked the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza for its efforts, especially its coordination of European parliamentary delegations to the Strip.
He said: “We try through all possible ways to open communication channels with international parties and engage in dialogue with major countries to enlighten the international community of what goes on here. But no country or person has listened to us except for you in the European countries, only you with living consciences.”
Haniyeh pointed out that the Quartet has put several conditions to engage in talks with his administration, adding that: “We do not oppose, but rather we support the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Occupied Jerusalem as its capital, refugees’ repatriation and the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. We are committed to a long-term truce which will be respected by all factions in order for peace to prevail for an extended period.”
Still, in regards to the recent Quartet demands, Haniyeh said: “we signed the Mecca agreement a few years ago, and we took steps for reconciliation and understanding, but despite that, we were subjected to injustice and a blockade, while the suffering continued.”
Haniyeh pointed out that Gaza “is subjected to a blockade from all directions, where there is an electronic wall from the north, a concrete wall from the east, and a steel wall from the south, and at sea, boats are prevented from coming or leaving.”
He clarified that the Strip: “suffers from a major crisis due to the latest war.” He called for universal jurisdiction and the implementation of humanitarian law to bring the indicted criminals of the war to justice and to prevent them from entering any country because they killed women, children and elderly, destroyed homes and displaced their owners, according to him.
Haniyeh questioned the political isolation of his government saying: “political isolation was imposed on us, we were fought militarily with Israeli warplanes, we were blockaded and our borders were closed, and we’re still suffering from the cruel war against our people, and yet, we’re still steadfast.”
He stressed that his government has no objection to the possibility of having a third party supervise the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip saying: “we do not mind if the United Nations, or European or Arab countries formed a committee for the reconstruction of Gaza and supervised the process of reconstruction.”
Source: Quds Press