“If Israel continues, peace will be impossible”
If Israel is allowed to continue committing “war crimes” in Gaza, “that would mean the end of any possibility of peace in this region, which is a very dangerous issue.” Mustafa Barghouti, founder and leader of the Palestinian National Initiative party, stated this in an interview with Adnkronos, exactly one month after the Hamas attack on Israeli territory. “Terrible” facts, the Palestinian politician defines them, which in his opinion the Tel Aviv government is however using to “pursue a plan that seems premeditated”.
“We never thought that the world could allow another act of ethnic cleansing, but it seems we were wrong: that’s exactly what Israel is doing now” in Gaza, continues the former Fatah negotiator in the Palestinian reconciliation talks – as well as a relative of Marwan Barghouti, a popular figure linked to the first and second Intifada and detained in Israeli prisons for years – citing the “three horrible war crimes” that Israel is committing “in front of the whole world” against 2.3 million people or ” genocide, ethnic cleansing and collective punishment”.
On the possibility that the conditions for a lasting peace could arise from the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel, Barghouti believes that “everything depends on the United States and the international community, in particular on Western Europe”, where there are many countries that “support totally Israel, even when it commits war crimes against the Palestinians.” For Barghouti, the only two ways out of this “mess” are for Israel to “remove its settlements in the West Bank”, a necessary condition for having “a two-state solution” or to “accept the Palestinians as beings with equal rights in one Democratic state. Supporting the current system of occupation and apartheid will not lead to any solution.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimate goal is to occupy the Gaza Strip “forever” through “an ethnic cleansing operation” in which the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) could be relegated to the role of “puppet”, says Barghouti, commenting the latest statements by the Israeli prime minister, according to which Israel will have “overall responsibility for the security” of the Gaza Strip for “an indefinite period of time”, while also putting forward the hypothesis of a role for the PNA in the management of the enclave for post-Hamas.
“What Netanyahu has said is that he wants to reoccupy Gaza and stay there forever. This was the original Israeli plan. But his real goal is not only to occupy Gaza, but also to ethnically cleanse it and then annex it to Israel,” he adds the former Fatah negotiator.
“If you look at the map of Israel that Netanyahu showed to the United Nations General Assembly a few weeks ago, it includes the annexation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights”, continues the Palestinian leader, according to whom the The Israeli Prime Minister’s plan to annex the Occupied Territories amounts to a “violation of all international laws”.
Barghouti therefore argues that the West has shown “a total double standard” and this is because “in the case of Ukraine it sent 224 billion dollars in aid and military equipment because it is against the annexation of lands occupied by Russia. But, in In our case, he is supporting the occupation of Palestinian land and its annexation. Exactly what Netanyahu intends to do.”
Finally, the Palestinian politician claims that the Tel Aviv government wants to use the PNA in Gaza as a “puppet”, an “unacceptable” fact in the eyes of the inhabitants of the Strip, but also of the West Bank where the Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas – although continues to be “respected” as a representative body – has lost “a lot of credibility”, with the population calling for “elections” to renew the Ramallah government and Parliament since the current ones “have not been elected”.