Palestinian representatives speak out

Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot challenges Israel’s narrative of current crisis

The Palestinian Ambassador, Husam Zomlot, challenged the narrative set out by presenter, Emily Maitlis, on BBC Newsnight.

The Ambassador said:

“Israel continues with sheer violations of very basic rights of people, and then blames the react rather than the act. This must stop and we must visit the root causes of all this. And the root cause is Israel’s insistence on the denial of basic human rights.”

Mustafa Barghouti speaks out

In the words of Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti during an interview on the BBC Today programme on 11 May 2021: “While people were praying, or trying to pray, the Israeli army entered the Al Aqsa mosque and then started beating people who were praying and shooting them with rubber-coated metallic bullets and stun grenades which yesterday left no less than 300 injured people, four of them could lose their eyes and four are in a very critical condition.

Al Aqsa Mosque

Mustafa Barghouti headshot

“The attacks by the Israeli army on Palestinian civilians also took place in the East Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah where Israel is trying to evict 500 people from their homes for the second time and also at the Damascus Gate into the Old City of Jerusalem where young people were trying to sit in the square as they do every year and just enjoy the time.

Asked about comments by former Israeli ambassador Mark Regev who described the people in the mosque as extremists and terrorists, he said: 

“They usually call all Palestinians either extremists or terrorists and unfortunately Israeli officials are lying constantly. They were praying. You can’t have an extreme prayer. People were just praying. The army would just invade the space. By which law does the Israeli army give itself the right to enter a mosque and then attack the people there? They threw tear gas bombs within the mosque where many people could have suffocated to death. There was no reason for the Israeli presence there. The reality is that people were adamant about preventing illegal Israeli settlers from entering the mosque on this holy day and the army just wanted to punish the Palestinians.”

Asked by the BBC whether he would call on Hamas to stop firing rockets onto Israeli territory, he said: 

“I think it would be fair to say we should ask the Israeli army to stop bombing Gaza so that rockets will not be used to attack Israel.  You can’t only blame one side. I would demand an immediate ceasefire where both sides stop bombarding.  …. Most of the Israeli attacks are happening against the civilian population. We could stop that and a ceasefire can be reestablished immediately if Israel is ready to agree.

Mustafa Barghouti highlights role of occupation

“One last point.  One cannot equate between the occupier and the occupied. The main core problem here which keeps leading to violence is that Israeli keeps occupying us since 54 years ago and does not want to stop this military occupation.It has actually transformed it into a system of persecution and oppression and apartheid which are considered war crimes in international law.”

MPs from across the UK Parliament ask Urgent Questions

The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) have produced this summary of the speeches made by MPs about Israel-Palestine during Urgent Questions in the House of Commons on 12 May 2021.

Watch Layla Moran MP – an MP of Palestinian descent – opening Urgent Questions in the House of Commons:

Watch Richard Graham MP calling for protection of religious sites:

Watch Andy Slaughter MP calling for the UK to support the International Criminal Court investigation:

Travel2Palestine’s view

Travel2Palestine have set out what we think needs to be done to end this cycle of violence and injustice.
In our article on East Jerusalem we have also explored UK policy towards East Jerusalem and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

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