Pales­tini­ans want SA’s help in West Bank fight

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Se­nior Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PLO) of­fi­cials have warned of a pos­si­ble up­ris­ing in the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian West Bank, while con­firm­ing they look to South Africa for guid­ance and sup­port in their strug­gle to end Is­rael’s oc­cu­pa­tion of the West Bank.

“When we were all alone in our strug­gle against the oc­cu­pa­tion, it was Nel­son Man­dela who gave us the courage to con­tinue the fight against the oc­cu­pa­tion,” said Dr Hanan Ashrawi, PLO’s head of pub­lic diplo­macy and pol­icy and mem­ber of the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity (PA) which nom­i­nally con­trols the West Bank.

“South Africa is uniquely placed to help the Pales­tini­ans with their strug­gle against op­pres­sion be­cause of its his­tory and per­sonal strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion dur­ing apartheid,” Ashrawi said on the side­lines of the Brics [Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China, and SA] Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties Plus Di­a­logue in Pre­to­ria this week, which ended on Thurs­day.

“It also has in­tegrity and is re­spected in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

PA mem­ber and PLO ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Dr Ahmed Ma­j­dalani said in ad­di­tion to po­lit­i­cal sup­port, South Africa has also pro­vided Pales­tine with eco­nomic sup­port and helped to build state in­sti­tu­tions in prepa­ra­tion for its fu­ture state­hood.

But he warned of im­pend­ing dan­ger, say­ing the sit­u­a­tion in the West Bank was now ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other Pales­tinian up­ris­ing was very real.

The United Nations of­fice for the co­or­di­na­tion of hu­man­i­tar­ian af­fairs (Ocha) in the Oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian Ter­ri­tory con­firmed that since the begin­ning of this year, there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in in­ci­dents in­volv­ing the en­try of Is­raeli forces and set­tlers into Pales­tinian schools, among other at­tacks. – ANA

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