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Palestinians have right to self-defence, says PA prime minister

July 5, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Palestinians burn car tires to protest the violence of Israel in Jenin after at least 9 died and 50 injured, in Gaza City, Gaza on July 03, 2023 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority prime minister said on Tuesday that the Palestinian people have the right to self-defence, Anadolu has reported. “There is no such right for an occupying power,” added Muhammad Shtayyeh.

The official made his comment in response to some international statements about the Israeli invasion of the city of Jenin and its refugee camp since Monday.

“Israel is internationally recognised as the occupying power over our land and people,” explained Shtayyeh. “At the very least, the military invasion of the Jenin refugee camp, in which nearly 12,000 Palestinians reside on less than half a square kilometre, should be condemned for its use of force to destroy the camp’s infrastructure, facilities and homes, and to kill, arrest and displace innocent people.”

The White House said on Monday that the US supports “Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist [sic] groups.” It has been reported that Israel told the Biden administration a couple of weeks ago of its intention to attack Jenin.

Although Israel and its allies always refer to Palestinian resistance groups as “terrorists”, and use that as the justification for attacking and killing their members, resistance against a military occupation is entirely legitimate under international law. The countries of the West which claim to uphold international law and human rights ignore this very simple fact and allow Israel to act with impunity.

The Palestinian leadership headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, decided at its meeting in Ramallah to stop all contacts with Israel and block security coordination with the occupation state. Critics point out that Abbas has threatened to end security coordination on many occasions, but has never done so with any real conviction. In fact, he has described such collaboration with the occupation as “sacred”.

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