“The question of Palestine will never disappear even if it is confronted with more plans that aim to bury the Palestinian people. Instead of threatening our national leader and President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel has to realize that they will be losing the last chance if it continues with the belief that coercion of military power is the only language to achieve “Peace”, said Ambassador Shawa
By Genc Mlloja
Senior Diplomatic Editor
“First of all I would like to emphasize that the bilateral relations between the two countries have been characterized by a genuine mutual interest to enhance and deepen the relations at all levels, where efforts are being made to widen the horizons of these historically profound and brotherly relations,” has said the Ambassador of the State of Palestine, Hana Shawa in an exclusive interview with Albanian Daily News.
The Ambassador made an overview of “the long painful history behind the question of Palestine since before the year 1948”, and commented on the latest plan presented by US President Donald Trump. “The State of Palestine rejects this so-called plan and in fact considers it another major declaration of hostility against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People,” she noted. “Israel, the occupying power, has systematically sought to settle, exploit Palestinian Territories, and resources and created plans that formed an ultimate blueprint of a colonial settlement enterprise all in flagrant violation of internal law and UN resolutions,” stressed the Palestinian top diplomatic envoy to Tirana.
But the Ambassador stressed that Palestine has consistently engaged in negotiation and still is committed to the end but under the framework of international legitimacy and UN resolutions that need to be implemented, in order to achieve the minimum of the inalienable rights of our shattered nations and land. “The question of Palestine will never disappear even if it is confronted with more plans that aim to bury the Palestinian people.”
Ambassador Shawa said that the Republic of Albania recognizes the injustice that is befallen on the Palestinian People. “It is a peace loving nation with very high inter-religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence and would not accept the conversion of an occupation of a land into a religious war to justify and legalize the existence of one heavenly religion at the expense of the two heavenly religions. The Republic of Albania also adheres, respects, and complies with the rules of the International law and UN resolutions against any state party that is trying to jeopardize this system,” said Ambassador Hana Shawa in the following interview:
–Madame Ambassador at the outset of this conversation please could you share with ADN’s readers your assessment of the bilateral relations between Albania and the State of Palestine.
-First of all I would like to emphasize that the bilateral relations between the two countries have been characterized by a genuine mutual interest to enhance and deepen the relations at all levels, where efforts are being made to widen the horizons of these historically profound and brotherly relations; herein is the mutual understanding of a common shared history between the two countries. Such efforts are mainly focused on strengthening the relationship between government ministries and agencies to promote prospects of cooperation in areas of mutual interests.
Furthermore, we would like to focus on an outreach to the Albanian people, through creating a positive environment where it will be possible to enhance the special historical ties between the people of Albania and Palestine through exchange of cultural, educational, sports and youth activities.
– Mrs. Shawa, there is a long painful history behind the question of Palestine which continues to be at a deadlock. To many past proposals which have failed it is added a Middle East plan presented lastly by US President Donald Trump which, as he said, “could be the last opportunity” for Palestinians. Which is, please, your comment on Trump’s proposals and how do you consider his reference as ‘the last opportunity’ for Palestinians?
-Indeed it is a long painful history behind the question of Palestine since before the year 1948 at which point the first stage of the greater colonial project of the Zionist Movement was completed where more than 500 Palestinian villages have been erased with the massacres that accompanied the first part of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian existence and the establishment of the State of Israel. Many wars came in between this period until the 4th of June 1967 when the rest of Palestine was occupied.
Following President Trump’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of both Jerusalem and the occupied Golan, talk of has increased. In reality, annexation of occupied territory has been on Israel’s agenda since the beginning of the occupation, through a slow and steady process defined by an array of policies and practices which are designed to obstruct the national rights of the Palestinian people and most importantly the right of self-determination.
Israel, the occupying power, has systematically sought to settle, exploit Palestinian Territories, and resources and created plans that formed an ultimate blueprint of a colonial settlement enterprise all in flagrant violation of internal law and UN resolutions. The Alon Plan of 1967, and the Balfour declaration at the offset, represented the first of these plans that aimed at redrawing the borders of the State of Israel to include the Jordan Valley and to connect the Jordan Valley to Israel through east-west corridor including Jerusalem. For those who say that this is an opportunity that you should not miss, we say to them that it is just an attempt by a group of ideologists who seek to legalize war crimes and accept the replacement of texts of international law with the narrow interpretation of some religious texts that serve the Zionist colonization of our land. This deal runs to normalize some of the most serious violations of the foundations of international law – what we call peremptory norms of international law. It is an opportunity of ignition conflicts in the name of religion on a question of the national inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, and sowing the seeds of the anarchy in the world.
Approving or supporting this deal is a reckless act, as it will lead to the normalization of aggression as a new rule of international politics, and it will undermine all relevant international institutions.
And for those who accuse us of refusing or missing opportunities, we say to them that the Palestinian people have made great concessions in order to live in peace. Before the birth of any political process, we accepted the exercise our right to self-determination on 22% of historic Palestine and now Under this Plan minus 30% of 22% that would be annexed under the so called deal of the century which is a non-starter for the Palestinian leadership under President Mahmoud Abbas, and the complete Palestinian political spectrum to the re-launch of the peace negotiations.
Palestine has consistently engaged in negotiation and still is committed to the end but under the framework of international legitimacy and UN resolutions that need to be implemented, in order to achieve the minimum of the inalienable rights of our shattered nations and land.
In conclusion, the question of Palestine will never disappear even if it is confronted with more plans that aim to bury the Palestinian people. Instead of threatening our national leader and President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel has to realize that they will be losing the last chance if it continues with the belief that coercion of military power is the only language to achieve “Peace”.
–The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the plan as a ‘conspiracy’ and in a statement he said: “I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass.” Does this mean that there is no chance of any talks on the proposals on the part of the State of Palestine?
-The State of Palestine rejects this so-called plan and in fact considers it another major declaration of hostility against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People. This plan poses a serious threat to the rules based on international order and the foundations of International law. It is a conceptually flawed, absolutist, and irresponsible agreement of surrender the US administration wants to coerce Palestine into signing, thus reverting to a world where conquerors take the spoils as victims are stripped of life and property.
The so-called plan discards the requirements of peace by endorsing annexation of large parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as ethnic cleansing by way of transfer more than 350,000 Palestinian-Israeli citizens, which are both crimes strictly prohibited under international law. It does not regard the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as occupied and thus discards the international consensus on the issue, and instead endorses the absolutist right wing Israeli perspective. The plan also legalizes the illegal annexation of occupied Jerusalem, in defiance of the UN Charter and UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. It furthermore endorses the theft of resources by way of annexation and hegemonic Israeli military control. Furthermore; it presents a disconnected and unviable archipelago of Palestinian communities stripped of any sovereignty or viability, engulfed in Israel’s belly and denied of any control over borders, airspace, territorial waters, security, or natural resources. These are conditions that no country can accept. In addition to all additional annexations, this plan also conditions economic and political development in Palestine on Israeli-US approval, henceforth removing any pretense of sovereignty. Additionally, the plan rejects the rights of Palestine refugees, and requires Palestine to abandon all efforts to seek justice and redress through international tribunals.
The State of Palestine does not consider this plan a basis for any credible or constructive dialogue aimed to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.
Palestine maintains that this plan contains all the elements of perpetual conflict, oppression, and injustice. It has no legal or political validity, and the Palestinian leadership will not engage in any discussion based on its content. Furthermore, the State of Palestine reaffirms that the rights of the Palestinian people to self- determination, freedom, and sovereignty are fundamental and non-negotiable.
The Palestinian leadership will fulfill its responsibility to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people by pursuing all available legal and diplomatic avenues to protect the national right of the Palestinian people and confront this announced plan of aggression. The State of Palestine will continue to act in line with international law and cooperate with states that share our values to defend the standing and relevance of international law and the rules based international order. The Palestinian Leadership reaffirms its readiness to engage in a constructive and meaningful dialogue and effort on the basis of international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and the Arab Peace initiative. This vision was presented by President Mahmoud Abbas to the UN Security Council in February 2018, and the Palestinian leadership is prepared to work with the international community to achieve a reality of peace, dignity, and justice on this solid foundation.
The State of Palestine views accepting this dangerous proposal as tantamount to endorsement of a new and lawless era in international politics, where aggression and annexation is normalized. Endorsing this plan and its false claims would unravel the International rules-based order and the systems of laws and regulations that unframed International relations over seventy years. It surrenders future generations to chaos, lawlessness and the rule of the jungle.
Finally, Palestine reminds all states of their responsibility to strictly refrain from aiding or abetting directly or indirectly, violations of international law and order. States that accept or normalize the US- Israeli agenda of annexation and denial of Palestinian national rights would be complicit in undermining the standing of the International order. The State of Palestine welcomes and highly values that the State actors take serious and effective measures to protect the requirements of peace and ensure accountability by adopting the logical and responsible course of action of exacting a cost for the continuation of this illegal occupation and annexation.
–In the meantime even Hamas movement has rejected the US plan and its chief Ismail Haniyeh seems to be in line with President Mahmoud Abbas about Palestinian unity. Mrs. Ambassador could it be expected an end to the division between Fatah and Hamas movements in face of the new developments?
-Hamas movement is an integral part of the Palestinian People who work for the same goal as the Fatah movement, but they differ in the approach to put an end to the Israeli occupation. The whole Palestinian Leadership and the whole spectrum of the Palestinian fraction, stand firm against the so called “deal of the century” as it is a new episode for the continued aggression as the sight of the Palestinian People aimed at not only to ethnically cleanse the people of Palestine, but also to annex more land, and transfer even Palestinians from inside of Israel.
It is only natural, when faced by such a coercive plan by the use of military power on an unarmed civilian population in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip, that such urgency is called for to unite and to end this division. This division is an internal problem, but was caused by the disappointment by the International Community to stand by our leadership, which outreached and fully engaged in the peace process of negotiations through which the Israeli side was desperately eluding from compliance to all signed agreements, International law,and all relevant UN resolutions which aimed to resolve the Palestine Israeli question.
–In the meantime, how do you evaluate the stance of the EU towards the recent US plan, and do Palestinians see in the position of the Union a more constructive approach towards a negotiated and viable two-state solution taking into account the legitimate aspirations of both the Palestinians and the Israelis?
-The State of Palestine welcomes the latest statements of a number of regional and international bodies. The League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference, the African Union, all of them have rejected the plan. The United Nations also reiterated them. Whereas the EU in a statement reiterated its commitment to a negotiated two state solution based on 1967 lines with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition as set out in the Council conclusions of July 2014. Moreover, it saw that the US plan departs from these internationally agreed parameters. It moreover stated that in order to build a just and lasting peace, all unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties, and this includes issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question. Moreover, the EU warned against any annexation and stated that it does not recognize the sovereignty of Israel inside the lines of 4th June 1967. It also urged the re-launch of the peace negotiation with all the final status issues, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, borders and security at the table.
– In conclusion Madame Ambassador which are your expectations for the stance of Albania’s diplomacy towards these new developments?
-The Republic of Albania is ongoing with great many achievements at all levels of legal, judicial reform which reflects its deep belief in the International world order in which the reference points for any conflict resolution is based on international law and UN resolutions. The Republic of Albania recognizes the injustice that is befallen on the Palestinian People.
It is a peace loving nation with very high inter-religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence and would not accept the conversion of an occupation of a land into a religious war to justify and legalize the existence of one heavenly religion at the expense of the two heavenly religions. The Republic of Albania also adheres, respects, and complies with the rules of the International law and UN resolutions against any state party that is trying to jeopardize this system. /ADN