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Argentina: Hundreds apply for symbolic Palestine citizenship

Hundreds of Argentinians lined up at the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires to submit applications for Palestinian citizenship [The Facebook page of the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires]
Hundreds of Argentinians lined up at the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires to submit applications for Palestinian citizenship [The Facebook page of the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires]

Hundreds of Argentinians lined up at the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires to submit applications for Palestinian citizenship. The "I want to be a Palestinian" campaign was carried out in support of the Palestinian people. Many activists of human rights organisations, civil society institutions, a number of parliament members and representatives of political parties came and participated in the campaign to express their solidarity and support for Palestine.

[The Facebook page of the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires]

The initiative was driven by the Argentine Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, with the collaboration of the Argentine League for Human Rights, among other organisations, to symbolically request Palestinian nationality.

The doors to the headquarters of the Palestinian Embassy and its consulate were opened to receive citizens and inhabitants of Argentina. The Palestinian Embassy celebrated this initiative and confirmed its importance to: "Focus attention on the fact that the question of Palestine has not yet been resolved and the Palestinians are still deprived of exercising their inalienable rights, which are recognised by the General Assembly." At the same time, the embassy stressed that the act of solidarity is: "An expression of love, peace and justice from Argentina towards the Palestinian people."

The initiative was opened with words from Roman Catalano, head of the Union of Public Service Workers, who reiterated the honour of applying for Palestinian citizenship. Tilda Rabie Fernandez gave a speech on behalf of the Argentine Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, highlighting the importance of this initiative and its role in supporting the Palestinian people and their struggle.

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In an interview with Ambassador of Palestine to Argentina Husni Abdel Wahed, he expressed his appreciation and gratitude for all the manifestations of solidarity that Palestine and its people have received from: "This generous and hospitable country. The Argentines light up the path for us and we pledge to continue the resistance against the abhorrent occupation and all forms of oppression and colonialism everywhere." He also told MEMO: "The Palestinian cause is the cause of all free people around the world. Therefore, despite the impossibility of obtaining Palestinian citizenship under occupation, all free people are Palestinians, and this is what participants intended by applying to obtain Palestinian nationality."

As expressed by President of the Palestinian Union in Latin America Samaan Safadi Khoury, this initiative, although symbolic, indicates the widespread sympathy for the Palestinian cause: "I wish all embassies would do such these initiatives to express people's sympathy with Palestine and the indignation against Israel's terrorism." Khoury also clarifies: "Argentina is the path of democracy, the rejection of oppression and the fight against dictatorships. Its noble people and their high culture stand firmly on the side of the Palestinian cause."

It is 11 years since the official recognition by Argentina of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders. Argentina has recognised Palestine as a "free and independent state", just days after neighbouring Brazil made the same announcement in 2010. Since then, the Palestinian community in Argentina commemorates this day on 6 December. Argentina greatly contributes all forms of support to the Palestinian community in Argentina, to help achieve peace and respect under the principles of international law.

Argentina has expressed its deep concern over the dramatic worsening of the situation in Palestine, the "disproportionate use of force" by Israeli security units in the face of protests over the possible evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, as well as for the Gaza Strip.

On 27 May, Argentina voted in favour of the United Nations (UN) resolution announced by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the opening of an investigation into possible human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories. The resolution further requested the commission of inquiry to investigate: "All underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity."

People worldwide are still reinforcing their supportive stance towards the Palestinian cause. From Argentina, passing through Brazil to the whole of Latin America, millions of supporters regularly show their continued unity with Palestine. Neither distance nor differences in language and culture have prevented them from uniting under one goal and message – "Freedom for Palestine".

[The Facebook page of the Embassy of Palestine in Buenos Aires]

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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