MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th July, 2021) Palestine will ask its international allies for support in rebuilding the infrastructure damaged by the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Sputnik.
In June, the International Committee of the Red Cross said that it may take "decades" to repair the damage caused by the latest round of hostilities that took place in May this year. Israel and Palestine's Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, were locked in an eleven-day armed conflict until a ceasefire was announced on May 20. The hostilities were preceded by days of clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police in East Jerusalem over an Israeli court's decision to evict several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
"Palestine will seek support from its friends in the international community as it is not capable of dealing with the extent of the damage left by Israel in Gaza on its own. We will approach Arab countries, the EU, the US and the rest of the world to help with the process," Nofal said.
Financial aid alone, however, is not enough for the restoration of Palestine, the ambassador noted.
"There need to be a serious political process and peace talks to resolve the conflict based on the Two-States solution. Without resolving the conflict, we will be caught in a vicious cycle of violence," the diplomat said.
Nofal added that following the 2014 conflict in Gaza Strip, the international community pledged billions of Dollars for the reconstruction of the area. Viewed as one of the deadliest conflicts between Israel and Palestine, the 2014 escalation resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.
"And here again in 2021 we find ourselves in the same situation. This needs to end and the only way to end it is by launching a serious peace process backed by Russia, the US, the EU, the Arab world and the rest of the international community based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 through the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes," the ambassador said.
AFTER YEARS OF US-LED TALKS, PALESTINE STUCK IN CONFLICT
Now after so many years of conflict, it may be a time for the international community to make a call for the international conference to put an end to the hostilities, Nofal stressed.
"And we believe that Russia, quartet [Egypt, Germany, France, and Jordan], US, United Nations and European Union - they must lead in this issue because after 25 years of negotiations led only by Americans, we are stuck with the war and we need a new approach... We need an international community to come and put an end to this conflict. It is the best way for Palestinians to live as normal people," the ambassador said.
Nofal added that Palestine was not surprised at the US decision to block the resolution on Palestine at the recent UN Security Council. In mid-May, during hostilities in the middle East, Tunisia, together with France, Egypt and Jordan, announced the preparation of a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire and an opening of a humanitarian corridor in the conflict zone. The resolution ended up being blocked by the United States.
Nofal went on to say that five years ago there was an invitation from Vladimir Putin to host negotiations between the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We believe in Russian administration, we reacted immediately. From 2016 we have been waiting for the [response] from the Israeli side. Netanyahu has visited Moscow more than 20 times since then. They have been avoiding responsibility to [discuss] the peace process. We are ready because we believe Russia and its leadership that Russia is ready to arrange meeting, conference, meeting," he said.
In 2016, Putin offered to organize direct talks in Moscow between Israel and Palestine without pre-conditions. Both parties rushed to agree, but the talks never took place. The proposal was then reiterated numerous times by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who stressed that Russia was consistently collaborating with the UN Security Council and other international actors with the aim of creating favorable conditions for reviving the direct Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.