Published Date: Dec 21, 2011
Peace and Justice in Palestine (SDPI Press Release)
Palestinians are going through a worst kind of apartheid and Hamas-Fatah unity is extremely vital for Palestinian struggle said Dr Fidaa Shehada, visiting assistant professor at the State University of New York while giving lecture on ‘Peace and Justice in Palestine’ at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday. She received her doctorate from Rutgers University with a scholarship on development sector in Palestine and the Arab region in general.
She said Israeli occupation through new settlements is expanding and peace process is not taking any strong roots amid so-called peace process and negotiations. She said people were too much optimistic about Barack Obama but he only played with words. When a Palestinian wakes up and goes to their farms they see a new settlement and are told by the Israeli it not their farm and flied anymore. She said building a wall which is a nicely worded as fence only separates Palestinians from Palestinians as it is established between the neighbors, families and communities. Also it is attempt to enclave water resources and re-align its position for any future negotiation.
She said the split between Hamas and Fatah has caused serious damage to Palestinian unity and benefited Israel. The rivalry between these two organizations has caused a division in West Bank and Gaza strip. She said two parallel governments are trying to institutionalize themselves besides there is duplication of efforts and resources. She said that Palestinian struggle cannot be strengthened without unity between these two important organizations. Hamas won the elections through democratic process but subsequent events pushed both these organizations into rivalry which has also resulted into human rights violations against each other. She added Hamas has introduced e-governance and has more representative governance. ‘Fatah is trying to settle itself within Israel occupation matrix whereas Hamas uses arms resistance and resists time to time’ she added.
She said it was initially very fascinating to see non-violent movement in Arab world adding that Egyptians have learnt from the first non-violent Intifada of Palestinians. One of the major effects of Arab uprising on Palestinian struggle is urge for reconciliation by Fatah after the fall of Hussani Mubarak in Egypt who was the biggest supporter of it.
She said global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007. She added BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice. She said boycotts target Israeli and international products and companies that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions. She said this movement is growing around the world now.
Shafqat Munir, Senior Advisor, SDPI said international justice is in question while we look at conflict such as Palestinian issue where rights of the people in crisis are not observed by national government and international commitments and guarantees in this regards do not work. “People of Pakistan have always sided with their Palestinian brothers and sisters and have always condemned Israeli for brutal atrocities against innocent Palestinians” he added. He called upon the international community to fully endorse the additional protocol to the convention on political and social rights of the people that seeks international support for protection of human rights of the people in conflict and crisis.