Gaza, the activist: “Peace with Palestinians is the only way to defeat Hamas”

“Future of Gaza? Israel only wants collaborators”

“It is a joke that Israel says it is fighting Hamas. If it really wanted to fight Hamas, it should make peace with the Palestinians and eliminate the cause of the violence, not the symptoms.” This was stated in an interview with Adnkronos by the well-known Palestinian human rights activist and defender, Issa Amro, former founder of Youth Against Settlement (YAS).

“Do we really believe that by eliminating Hamas, Palestinians will gain freedom, justice and equality and have their own state and rights? The main problem is Israeli occupation and apartheid, not Hamas,” says the Hebron-based activist , according to which even in the West Bank “there is Hamas and there are people who support it”.

For Amro, creating “a state without Palestinians, a Jewish state” through the “deportation of all Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank” is the ultimate goal of the large-scale offensive launched by Israel in the Strip.

“The goal of the Israeli military operation is to increase the price for the Palestinians so that they do not think about the future, do not think about freedom, justice and equality and do not think about resisting the occupation,” explains the activist – in 2010 named ‘human rights defender of the year in Palestine’ by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – who reiterates that he is “in favor of peaceful resistance” to Israeli forces. “The Israeli right – he underlines – wants to create a state ‘from the river to the sea'”.

For Israel in the future of Gaza there is no room for a “strong” Palestinian authority, it only wants “collaborationists, without political rights and without a state”, continues the activist, who does not spare criticism of the PNA and its leader Mahmoud Abbas, no longer considered capable of representing the Palestinians. “The Palestinian Authority acts as a subcontractor of the Israeli occupation. Mahmoud Abbas is weak, old, finished”, he declares, indicating the need to open a new phase and “choose a new leadership”.

On October 7, the day of the Hamas attack, “I was arrested for 10 hours in Hebron and for 10 hours I was the victim of continuous attacks by soldiers and settlers. I was blindfolded, they covered my mouth and I I was beaten to death. Some spat on me”, reports Amro, describing during the interview the repression of the Israeli forces of which he was the victim in the hours immediately following the massacre of the Islamist movement.

“For 10 hours they kept me handcuffed behind my back”, adds the activist, who defines the situation in Hebron as “bad” and, in particular, in the H2 area where “curfew” has been in force since 7 October.

Amro then talks about the episode in which he was the protagonist on 20 October, when following an interview given to a foreign journalist “I was evicted from my house in Tel Rumeida (Hebron neighbourhood, ed.). Now my house it is empty and the Israeli soldiers use the courtyard as a military post – he concludes – Meanwhile the families live under curfew and cannot leave the house”.