By John Okeke
The Palestinians people on 15th May , 2018 marked the 70th Anniversary of the NAKBA , which means the catastrophe caused by Israel invasion to the Palestinian land .
The creation of Israel on Palestinian Land in 1948 constitutes a grave historical injustice to the Palestinian people that persists until now.
During the NAKBA catastrophe, Israel destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages and committed at least 33 massacres, and more than 800,000 Palestinians were uprooted and expelled to live as refugees at the mercy of others . Since 1948, Israel has employed deliberate and systematic acts of violence, colonialism and destruction at the expense of the Palestinian people , their rights , land and resources.
However, in a swift reaction, the Ambassador of Palestine to Nigeria , Saleh Fhied , slammed United States for siding Israel especially opening of their embassy in Jerusalem.
According to him, this move marks the end of an era when United States led international efforts to supposedly achieve the two-state solution, ending Israel’s occupation that began in 1967 including East Jerusalem.
He said since 1991, millions of Palestinian people held hope that the US was committed to peace , particularly as seen in the written assurances of the United States to implement international resolutions and respect the issue of Jerusalem as a final status issue.
The envoy said , instead US administration has acted in a divisive manner , removing itself from the role of peacemaker, and putting its full weight behind the minority anti-peace forces who believe in a zero sum game , while deepening the already profound uncertainty and anxiety in Palestine and beyond .
This act according to him, negates history and the lived reality of an entire nation , as we commemorate this week 70 years of NAKBA , or Catastrophe.
“It also dismisses the centrality of Jerusalem in the lives of millions of Palestinian Christians and Muslims,” he said.
He said ,” tragically , the US administration has chosen to side with Israel’s exclusivist claims over a city that has for centuries been sacred to all faiths. The move of the US embassy gives life to a religious conflict instead of a dignified peace.”
He continued,” it is very unfortunate that the America supposedly should have been a fair broker for this, instead they have chosen a wrong side of history. Jerusalem is not the property of America . It is an international property . It was occupied in 1967 war. This day 15th of May is the Anniversary of the occupied Palestine.
At the same time , it is the 70th Anniversary of he creation of Israel. For us, we call it (NAKBA) means the catastrophe. It is unfortunate that one nation is celebrating occupied of Israel while others are celebrating occupied Palestine.
“President Trump has no right to add more hardship or pains at this Anniversary . Jerusalem is not a property of the US to define its future. It is internationally recognized as the occupied city among Palestinian territory by Israel in 1967 war . Therefore, America being the super power and after given the letter of assurances to the Palestinian leadership since Oslo Peace Agreement which was signed in the White House Washington DC 25 years ago they confirmed that they will not in the final status of issues of negotiations between us and Israel . Jerusalem and he Palestinian refugees should be left between them. All should be settled by negotiation. Simply , America did not keep their promise and choose to stand on the wrong side of history which also mean that they have lost their credibility globally,” he said.
Reacting on the killings in Gaza, he added,” Since the 30th March which marks the (Land Day) for Palestine our people in Gaza to express their anger for the long overdue issue of the Palestinian refugees to return to their native home land in Palestine. They are unarmed but the Israeli soldiers who are armed dealt with peaceful Palestinian protesters in an extreme use of force.
“Israeli snipers are shooting children , women , old and young men in an extra judicial killings. They don’t respect the principle of proportionality in the use of force with civilians demonstrators . Unfortunately, our 64 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers and more than 3,000 casualties,” the envoy added.