"We don't intend to resort to violence, but we have the right to peaceful resistance"

14 dec. 2017 English Section
Recorded by ANCUŢA STANCIU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
"We don't intend to resort to violence, but we have the right to peaceful resistance"

"We need real and rational policy from the international community and not political tricks" 

(Interview with his Excellency, Mr. Fuad Kokaly, the Ambassador of Palestine in Bucharest)

The UN stated it was "extremely concerned over the risks of a violent escalation of the situation" after the decision of Donald Trump to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a reunion of the Security Council in which the United States have appeared more isolated than ever, according to AFP.

This decision "is not in line with the resolutions of the Security Council", the ambassadors of France, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden and Germany said at the end of the emergency reunion requested by eight of the fifteen members of the Council. It is not "favorable to peace in the region", the diplomats said, in a solemn statement, which did not mention any reprisals.

Also, the foreign affairs ministers of the countries in the Arab League have asked Washington, in a resolution which was published Sunday morning after a reunion in Cairo, to annul the decision concerning the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, AFP and DPA wrote on Sunday.

His Excellency, Mr. Fuad Kokaly, Palestinian ambassador in Bucharest, discussed in an interview, Palestine's position in this row.

Reporter: Your Excellency, what is your opinion on the statement of American president Donald Trump concerning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

Fuad Kokaly: The statement by president Trump on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel is illegal and violates international law and the UN Charter. It is a statement directed against the Palestinian people and its rights to self-determination, as Jerusalem is the cultural, spiritual and rightful capital of the state of Palestine, a state which is recognized by 138 states. Trump's statement disqualifies the US as a mediator in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis and places it completely on the Israeli side.

On the other hand the recognition of Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Israel violates the commitment made to the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993 which stipulated that the US would not recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.

Reporter: The international press writes that Trump's decision will change the US policy in the Middle East. What is your take on that?

Fuad Kokaly: Like I said, through this statement, president Donald Trump has ended the peace process in the region and has disqualified the US from playing a role in the region, and that will be the best gift that radical movements on both sides - the Israeli and Arab one - could have hoped for, and a disappointment for the moderate forces in the Middle East.

Reporter: Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip, has asked for "a new Intifada" to denounce the decision of the US president. Do you think that the riots will escalate in the region?

Fuad Kokaly: Hamas is a Palestinian political movement, it does not represent the Palestinian people in its entirety, the only organization that represents the Palestinians is the PLO, and it has not called upon the people to start the "Intifada" general riot. But everything is possible in light of the current events, of the hostility of the Trump administration and the situation of our people which has been suffering under occupation for 50 years.

Reporter: Why do you think that Trump has decided to approve this recognition right now?

Fuad Kokaly: President Trump has some dues to pay internally, he can't meet many of his promises made in the electoral campaign, and I think that the easiest to fulfill with the voters was the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, thus violating the will of the international community.

Reporter: What is your comment on Donald Trump's position on the attitude towards the other states, including the UN?

Fuad Kokaly: It is a signal that doesn't bode well, for all the countries in the world, which translates to: "international law and the UN Charter are not made for the powerful". Also, it is an encouragement to violate the will of the international community through the resolutions rendered by the highest international forum - the UN. Us Palestinians will not abandon the peace process and we will continue our efforts, as we are aided by the international community, together with the Israelis, to find a solution that would guarantee our inalienable right, a solution based on the creation of the Palestine state that would have good neighborly relations with Israel, having its capital in Eastern Jerusalem that was occupied after 1967.

We don't intend to resort to violence, but we have the right to peaceful resistance, which would lead to the achievement of our generation-long dream. We need real and rational policy from the international community and not political tricks.

Reporter: Thank you!

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