Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) The Head of Mission of League of Arab States and Ambassadors of Palestine and Syria to India on Saturday rejected US President Donald Trump’s recent moves on Jerusalem and Golan Heights, saying they hold no value for them.
Coming down heavily on Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his latest move to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights, they ruled out any compromise on the Arab territories occupied by Israel.
Arab League mission head, Alyaa A. I. Ghannam, Palestinian Ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Alhaija and his Syrian counterpart, Riad Kamel Abbas were addressing a meeting organised by Indo-Arab League, Hyderabad to express solidarity with Palestine and Syria.
Ghannam said Trump had no right to grant occupied territories in Palestine, Golan Heights or any other Arab territory to Israel. “These are not his lands that he can grant to anybody,” she said.
She said that the League of Arab States at its meeting in Tunisia on March 31 made it clear that Palestine is the core of Arab-Israel conflict and no peace will be established without just and comprehensive settlement of all conflicts including Palestine and Golan Heights.
The Palestinian envoy said last year, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, last month he recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Syria’s Golan Heights and warned that the US President might even recognize the annexation of West Bank by Israel.
He said the Trump’s decisions were against international law and against the United Nations resolutions for which even the US had voted.
“Come what may, we will not compromise on the basic tenets of our cause. If the US and the regime in Tel Aviv believe that we will abandon the right of return to Jerusalem, let me tell them that we are here to fight as we have been for more than a century. And we will continue to be,” said Alhaija.
The Palestinian envoy said he did not agree with the people who say Trump is the worst thing to happen to the Palestinians and to the Arabs. “Because in what he says and what he does, he has blown the cover of the American foreign policy in the Middle East. The US was never a fair mediator when it came to Israel. The US’ pro-Israel bias has always been there for everyone to see. However, it used to give the impression of impartiality. With Mr Trump, that fake veneer is gone and the real and true face of American policy is out for everyone to see.”
He said by closing the PLO office in Washington and by withdrawing the funding to UNARWA, the Palestinian hospitals and the Palestine National Authority, the US believed, mistakenly, that doing so will make “Palestinians buckle down and accept its illegitimate demands”.
The Syrian envoy said Trump’s decision on Golan Heights had no value for them as the whole world knew that it is Syrian territory annexed by Israel in 1967. “We will not surrender our dignity and land,” he said.
He alleged that in the name of Arab Spring, the US destroyed Syria, Libya and Yemen. “Wherever there is a hand of America, there is trouble. It supports terror groups. It supported Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The US also tried to change the policy and government of Syria but they did not succeed,” he said.
Opposing the US presence in the Middle East, he alleged that Washington wants to control the region’s resources.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said Palestinians were the victims of the worst persecution and so-called developed nations were supporting Israel, which was the worst naked aggressor in the world in last 75 years.
“My heart bleeds and my conscience weeps when I watch these events and note the developments in Palestine,” he said adding that Palestine represents the worst case of injustice, next only to apartheid-era South Africa.
He said irrespective of which party was in power, India always supported the Palestinian cause and had a consistent stand that Israel should end occupation of all Arab territories including Golan Heights.
Syed Vicaruddin, chairman, Indo-Arab League Hyderabad, said for the last 50 years the organization was raising its voice against injustice with Palestinians. He said Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights was unethical, arbitrary and unilateral.