Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia, Zuhair Al-Shun emphasized that the main problem of Palestinian-Israeli conflict is occupation. So, the solution to ending the problem is to stop the Zionist occupation on Palestinian land.
“Our hope is that this occupation will end. If it is not terminated, all steps are useless. Occupation is the main problem. Their existence in Palestinian land is the problem. If they don’t leave this land, then the crisis will continue there, ”said Zuhair in an exclusive interview with MINA News Agency on Monday.
The following is an excerpt from the interview:
MINA: What is the next step for Palestine after ceasefire in Gaza?
Palestinian Ambassador: There is no doubt that the cessation of Israeli military aggression which has resulted in Palestinian civilian casualties is the result of the struggle of various parties. Some say, currently the atmosphere in Palestine is quite calm. Actually what happens is calm in alertness.
It’s a shame that Israel continues to provoke. Recently, they carried out a provocation in Al Aqsa by protecting Jewish extremists from entering the Al Aqsa complex. Israel is also still blockading Sheikh Jarrah’s area and this is the source of the problem in the emergence of military aggression.
Our hope is that this occupation ends. If it is not terminated, all steps are useless. Occupation is the problem. Their existence in Palestinian land is the problem. If they don’t leave the land, the crisis there will continue.
For this reason, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas continues to strive through political, diplomatic and other channels so that this occupation ends with international support. These are the efforts we have been doing and continue to do. This is the Palestinian strategy to avoid civilian casualties due to Israeli crimes. You have seen what Israel is doing on Palestinian land. This is my opinion regarding the next stage.
MINA: Many say that Israeli aggression will return if Israel does not receive sanctions, because the attack is not the first time happened, what do you think about it?
Palestinian Ambassador: Israel committed all forms of crimes. This is not the first and nor the last. They had committed crimes repeatedly before this aggression. For that they will do it again. Israel is a colonial state. As long as they colonize, they will continue to oppress Palestinian people who demand their rights.
We strive for independence on all Palestinian lands but Israel doesn’t care about that. For that reason, if that aggression happens again and maybe it happens, I will ask where the role of the international world is. What the role of the US is, which often talks about human rights? Where is Europe? Where are the great countries? They are the ones who should play a role in stopping Israel’s crimes. I think that’s the solution.
However, if we are asked to negotiate with Israel, which claims to be a democratic country, a country that claims themselves to be tolerant, then this is a nonsense suggestion. The big powers and the UN Security Council must fulfill their responsibilities because it is on the basis of that role that they are founded. What is that? Suppress Israel and give full freedom to the Palestinians.
MINA: Is there any guarantee offered by Palestine so that aggression will not be repeated, both in Gaza, the occupation in Sheikh Jarrah & the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
Palestinian Ambassador: There is no such guarantee from the Israeli side. This is their mentality. Every time on the ground it can cause problems. They are trying to export our citizenship and our Palestinians from Sheikh jarrah, which is occupied, they accept all the daily settlers and extremists of Zionism who attack and surround Al-Aqsa and enter the holy place.
So, it seems there is no guarantee from the Israeli side. They have made many arrests every day. Who guarantees they won’t do that? So for people those who were arrested were many who were injured yesterday. They (Zionist Israel) attacked every part of the Palestinian territories.
So, who says there is a guarantee of life, we don’t believe in those Zionist Jews. They are against peace. Thank you.
MINA: Many Muslims in various countries, especially Indonesians want to visit Al Quds. Can they do it?
Palestinian Ambassador: I want to say first that Indonesia continues to provide all forms of support for Palestine, from the level of the state, government and society. As for matters related to Islamic countries, I invite them to visit Al Quds to protect it, guard the Al Aqsa Mosque. I invite all Muslims to move and unite for Palestine, for its capital, for its Islamic or Christian holy places.
Wherever they are, in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, let’s stand up for and defend the rights of Palestine.
MINA: What is the point of this ceasefire for Palestine?
Palestinian Ambassador: I can say, to stop their attack on Gaza and the civilian population, it is very necessary for us to carry out weapons with them. You know, hundreds of martyrs including women and children, all civilians who were killed.
For that (the ceasefire) is to protect our people, our people from their attacks because of the lack of action from the international community, only demonstrations and condemnations, which are not enough to stop the Israeli attacks. So right now carrying out a ceasefire is an important thing, to protect our people.
MINA: The US and Egypt are committed to rebuilding Palestine, especially the Gaza strip. What is your response?
Palestinian Ambassador: We know that the relationship between Egypt and Palestine is very close and good. Egypt has an important role to play in helping Palestine. It was Egypt who initiated the truce. Egypt has also managed to raise half a billion dollars in donations for reconstruction in Gaza. Of course, this step should be grateful.
We thank Egypt for their cooperation and efforts. Seeing this, it is very important to tell Indonesia to help repair the destroyed buildings. We have seen Egypt, Jordan and Qatar helping to bring about a ceasefire in Gaza.
So, Egypt is part of our national security and Gaza and Egypt are also the parties to our problem.
MINA: There are report that you say, many donations are fake in the name of Palestine, can you explain?
Palestinian Ambassador: I didn’t say it like that. I said that there are official channels representing the Palestinian state, representing the Palestinian embassy and also representing the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through which the collected donations can be channeled.
As for those gathered from the streets, I have never received those directly. I haven’t seen that and am not responsible for it. Where the donation is taken and who receives it, I am not responsible for that.
However, if the donation is channeled through an official representative such as an embassy, then we can be held accountable. The donation has photo proof of receipt. Then, it channeled through the bank to the official bank that we choose. This is the procedure and path I am referring to.
MINA: What are the focuses of the bilateral relations that are being enhanced between Palestine and Indonesia?
Palestinian Ambassador: Palestine gets a lot of convenience from Indonesia. The bilateral relations between the two countries is in the top. One of the conveniences is that two Palestinian products, namely dates and olive oil, are free of customs duties to enter Indonesia.
Many products have been discussed and accepted by your government. For approval, God willing, all types of products from Palestine entering Indonesia will soon be signed.
MINA: What are you discussed in your visit to Indonesian Ulema Council’s office in Jakarta and what do you think about the plan by the Chairman of DMI, Mr. Yusuf Kalla, to donate half of the infaq of all mosques in Indonesia for Palestine?
Palestinian Ambassador: That’s right, half an hour ago I just visited the Indonesian Ulema Council. It is an honor for us to visit the event attended by those who support the Palestinian people. They come from various backgrounds.
There are amount of money donated through the Red Crescent that will be sent directly to Gaza so that it is not too late. There are also donations channeled through us for the Palestinians. God willing, tomorrow it will be exchanged and transferred through the account of the Palestinian Embassy and then given to those in need.
And all the processes are clear. There is a camera, witnessed directly by the audience so they know the donation figure. We don’t want to and can’t hide anything.
We greatly appreciate the donations submitted by the Indonesian people and those who collected them and welcome the roles and assistance that have been carried out by people from different backgrounds in Indonesia. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)