A Questão Palestina
[14 Apr 2010]
MPPM CLAIM OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EUROPEAN UNION MEASURES AGAINST ISRAELI AGGRESSIVE AND EXPANSIONIST POLICY
After near a year of the inauguration of the right-wing government in Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, the worst expectations are confirmed: worsening the repression of the Palestinian people, blocking the negotiation process with a view to a diplomatic solution to end the occupation, disrespect for international law and legality, and worsening tensions in the Middle East.
Consistent with the political career of Netanyahu and Lieberman, and the positions of the respective parties during the election campaign that culminated in the elections of February 20, 2009, and in the wake of the guidelines issued yet by Ariel Sharon, the Israeli government strongly intensified the process of colonization of the West Bank of the Jordan River in clear violation of international law and legality. Israeli non-governmental organizations estimate at more than 50,000 the number of residential units that are currently in various stages of construction, only in the region of East Jerusalem. Despite a long propagated "moratorium" on the progress of colonization, enacted in November 2009, according to data released by Israeli non-governmental organizations, more than thirty settlements violate that measure with the complicity of the authorities, extending their area of deployment well beyond the so called "natural growth". In December 2009, the Israeli government approved a new map of national priority areas which includes about ninety settlements, situated mostly on the eastern side of the wall built by Ariel Sharon and condemned by the International Court in The Hague and where, consequently, increased investment will be directed in order to encourage the migration and the establishment of new settlers.
The construction of settlements is, historically, a central element of the occupation carried out by the State of Israel. It is, therefore, the surest indicator of the real intentions of each government in relation to the question of national rights of the Palestinian people. In addition to being outlawed by successive resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations, its progress and increase denounce a clear intention of creating faits accomplis on the ground that limit and condition, in a severe and irreversible way, the possibility of establishment of a Palestinian state free, sovereign and viable, with the concomitant retreat from the Arab territories occupied in 1967. In the same direction goes the recent decision by Israel to attach to its list of places of memory archaeological sites in Hebron and Bethlehem that, in addition to belonging to the Palestinian national heritage, are within the illegally occupied Arab territories.
In parallel with the settlement, the government of Israel has intensified the policy of house demolition and destruction of trees and fields across the West Bank, but with particular focus on the region of East Jerusalem. A few days ago, military orders were issued to extend and intensify the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza who live in the West Bank, increasing the repressive actions and instruments aimed at forcing the displacement of populations and to promote change in demographics within the occupied territories. Incursions into the Palestinian towns and villages, prisons - particularly children - and murder tend to multiply. Only in the first three months of 2010 were arrested in the occupied territories more than one thousand and four hundred people. The repression of popular resistance actions against the construction of the Sharon Wall and the defence of houses and lands is particularly violent, hitting indiscriminately men, women and children. Nearly six hundred checkpoints of the Israeli army scattered throughout the West Bank daily humiliate men, women and children, and make social and economic activity virtually impossible. The Gaza Strip is still surrounded in a fierce and inhuman blockade, while the scale and intensity of military operations carried out by the Israeli army on the population living there are increased. But it is not only within the Palestinian territories that the Israeli government shows its repressive face. Since the inauguration of the government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, were presented in the parliament of the country more than twenty bills with xenophobic and discriminatory content in relation to the Arab population of the state of Israel. Regionally, the repeated refusal of Israel to adhere to treaties on nuclear non-proliferation - highlighted recently in the context of the Conference held last May in Washington - and to accept the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions for the creation, in the Middle East, of a zone free of nuclear weapons constitutes a permanent factor of instability and conflict, which threatens peace and security of all peoples.
Despite the worsening situation in the occupied territories, the intensification of political repression, increased colonization, the thorough destruction of the conditions of national existence of the Palestinian people, the threat of aggression launched against countries in the region, the current Israeli government enjoys an unacceptable complacency, if not the complicity, of large sections of the international community, particularly the U.S. and Western countries. With one or another inconsequential manifestation of disagreement, the intensification of the settlement policy in the occupied territories - that the international law condemned - is developed under a widespread silence.
Involved in two wars of occupation in the region, with no end in sight, the U.S. continues to see in Israel their strategic ally of choice for the control of the riches of the Middle East, submitting to that aim the sovereign rights of the peoples of the region. The increase of economic relations of the European Union with Israel, translated in the signing in November 2009, a new trade agreement, and, more recently, the acceleration of the accession of Israel to the OECD, reflect an objective collusion with the occupation policy pursued by that Government, and a clear affront to the most elementary norms of international law. In turn, the cooperation agreements between the EPAL - a subsidiary of Aguas de Portugal - and Mekorot, the national water company of Israel, express the alignment of the Portuguese government with a policy that is contrary to the interests of peace and the just and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
In a context so dramatic and dangerous as one in which lives the Palestinian people, and without the dialogue between the different expressions of national resistance registering significant advances, it is vital to strengthen the action of the movement of public solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people.
It should be noted that the implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people is a fundamental condition for peace and cooperation among all countries of the region, and that this will only be fully achieved with the withdrawal by Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, and the subsequent creation of a free Palestinian state, sovereign and viable, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem consistent ly with international law and legality.
The MPPM claims of sovereign bodies and, in particular, the government, a consistent and committed action with the European Union, to promote the application of law and international legality and to condemn Israel for the continued occupation and the intensification of repression against the people Palestinian. This position should result immediately in:
- Vote against the accession of Israel to the OECD
- Opposition to increasing the EU's relations with Israel
- Cancellation of any agreements of the kind between EPAL and MekorotWithin its sphere of action, the MPPM willcontinue to be involved in spreading the national cause of the Palestinian people and mobilizing the Portuguese public opinion in favour of immediate suspension of the occupation and the aggressive policy pursued by the state of Israel.