Taher Hammad (Photo: Rendy/MINA)
Taher Hammad (Photo: Rendy/MINA)

Exclusive interview with the first secretary of the Palestinian Embassy to Indonesia, Taher Hammad.

The first secretary of Palestinian Embassy to Indonesia, Taher Hammad said that Palestinian people today  need the real support from international community for the lifting of blockade in the territory from Israeli occupation.

The statement was expressed during the visit of Jamaah Muslimin (Hizbullah) delegation to the embassy headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday. The delegation consist of Imaamul Muslimin Yakhsyallah Mansur, The Chairman of Aqsa Working Group (AWG) Agus Sudarmadji, The Chairman of Al Fatah foundation, Wahyudi KS, representattives from some regions, Ahmad Zubaidi, Bustamin Utje, and Aliyuddin.

On the occasion, the reporter of Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA), Widi Kusnadi and Rendy Setiawan had the special opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Hammad. Here is the interview:

MINA: What is actually needed by the Palestinian people from international community support?

Hammad: The Palestinian people desperately need the support from the world to push Israel to lift its blockade in the Palestinian territory. We have no right  to freely make a trip to other places, however we are one of the part of global citizen.

Currently, we have a lot of support from the international community. We need the support until the blockade be revoked permanently. That is the freedom and sovereignty for Palestinians.

Israel still blockaded for various reasons. Although the international community has been excluded, but Israel is the close friend of  United States (US) and they has a right of veto, Israel still maintains a blockade.

MINA: How could Palestinian flag raised in the UN for the first time?

Hammad: Alhamdulillah, many thanks to all parties for their struggle so the our flag finally could be fluttered in UN. We have support from at least 139 UN members. We hope, the flag could also be hoisted not only at the UN headquarters in News York but also in Geneva and Wina.

In 2012, the UN has recognized Palestine as non-member country. Today, they provides an opportunity for us (Palestinians) to hoist the flag as the evidence that we have been recognized as a country, even yet as officially member.

MINA: The raising of Palestinian flag along with Vatikan’s flag, how could it happened?

Hammad: Yes, a long time ago Vatican has consistently supported the Palestinian struggle. They also provide financial assistance and participate in a boycott of the Israeli products and education. Head of the Vatican administration, Giuseppe Bertello has also several times met Mahmoud Abbas to express his support.

Bartello had visited Palestine, visited the Holy Cites Al-Quds to observe the Christinians there. He is well known as the figures who oppose the occupation by Israel against Palestinian territory.

The Vatican is the 135 th countries to recognize Palestine. Analysts say the position of the pope as a spiritual leader has made significant step to the support.

MINA: Does Palestine keep Two State Solution concept?

Hammad: Yes, it has been shown by Mahmoud Abbas, the possibility that it can be applied in our region is the Two State Solution. Israel was recognized by the world community since 1948, whereas Palestine has existed in the the region long time before. Of course we also have the right to seek recognition as an independent state, like other nation in the world.

Israel itself does not actually want the Two State Solution. They want only they fully controll the territory. But we still appreciate their presence so far. That’s why we brought the concept of Two State Solution and it gets a lot of support from the majority of UN members.

MINA: Related to the support from the various UN members, what’s your comment?

Hamad: We are very grateful to everyone for their support. But our fight is not over until a Palestinian state is really be an independent, sovereign and able to cooperate with the international insttitutions as well as any other nations in the world.

We need all your supports at least to press on Israel to open the blockade in the entire Palestinian territory.

MINA: What about the condition of Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Hammad: Since last month, Israeli extremist settlers along with a number of ministers commit a provocative acts by conducting ritual worship in the mosque. Though everyone knows that it is a sacred place of Muslims.

They also pollute the mosque with garbage,  burn the mosques carpet, and a series of actions that angered Muslim worshipers there.

Palestinians do effort as long as they can, try to drive them out with stone and wood. Meanwhile, Israeli troops bring their vehicle to the compound to disperse the crowd.

MINA: Is the Israeli raid on AL-Aqsa related to raising of Palestinian flag in UN?

Hammad: I don’t think so. They did it because they want to establish a place of worship in the mosque compound. Although scientifically they are not able to prove the relics of a synagogue in the place area, but they still insist on carrying out rituals in the mosque complex.

Actually, since long time ago, they have been attacking Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, in the recent years, the number of illegal settlers  continuesly  growing up. In addition, the number of Muslims who are maintaining the holy place decreasing. That’s the problem.

MINA: Is the Palestinian Authority does not have the troops to secure the Al Aqsa?

Hammad: We have the police, but did not have an army. Our police are very limited number, only provided minimal equipment, is not the same as the Israeli security forces. Indeed, we do not have our own sovereignty in the region.

MINA: Actually, Who’s have the authority to keep the Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Hammad: Jordan. They They are currently got the mandate to maintain the sanctity of Al-Aqsa. Jordan play the vital role to keep the Mosque. They can press the Israeli government to stop their agression.

In 2013, Jordan and the Palestinians signed an agreement and King Abdullah II as the shrine board. Jordan also has been determining Imaams in AL-Aqsa Mosque.

Under the deal, King Abdullah has “the right to exercise all legal remedies in order to keep and maintain all the holy places in Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque which Muslims called it Al-Haram Asy-Syarif.

MINA: What about the continuation of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation?

Hammad: I still expect both of the largest organization in Palestine will be unite and work together. Everything they do is for the unity of the nation and welfare of the citizens.

We take a lesson of what is currently happening in Syria. Each party in the country do not has any cooperation. They hit each other to gain the position. Finally their enemies are happy, whereas Syrian people are suffering.

Of course, all components of the Palestinian people can take a lesson from the Syrian crisis. Unity is the key if Palestine want to get the independence.(L/P008/R03)


Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)