Practices of Israeli settlers like those of ISIS: Palestinian ambassador in Cairo

Bassem Aly , Friday 30 Oct 2015

Gamal Al-Shobky
The Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt, Gamal Al-Shobky, at a press conference in Cairo on Thursday, October 29, 2015. (Photo: Bassem Aly)

The practices of Israeli settlers in occupied territories are the same as those of ISIS, the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt said.

“Burning Palestinians alive such as the Dawabsha [family] and not allowing ambulance vehicles to take injured Palestinians to hospitals—unless they are sure they have died—are examples,” Gamal Al-Shobky said at a press conference in Cairo on Thursday.

“In the meantime, we [Palestinians] are punished for seeking the support of international institutions such as the International Criminal Court or the UN Security Council,” he added.

Al-Shobky said that Palestinians demand an end for the Israeli occupation, establishment of an independent state and international protection as “the unarmed are facing the strongest state in the region.”

He pointed out that Palestinians are killed on an almost daily basis and urged the formation of an international fact-finding committee to look into “the crimes committed by Israeli settlers.”

“It is strange that the United States and Israel reject this demand, although the Palestinians themselves agree to be part of the investigation,” Al-Shobky argued.

The current wave of Palestinian protests and repression by Israeli troops started in late July when 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians were severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

Settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the village of Duma near Nablus and threw Molotov cocktails into the buildings. The toddler died after sustaining serious burns as a result of the attack.

The parents of the toddler, Riham and Saad Dawabsha, and their other son Ahmed, also lost their lives after suffering serious injuries in the incident.

Palestinian protests were also triggered by an increase in Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa mosque—considered to be the third holiest site in Islam— in Jerusalem. The Palestinians fear that Israel is preparing to allow Jewish prayers in the mosque, which is currently not allowed.

“The extremists in Israel want either the demolition of the mosque or at least to share it with Muslims. They want to take the situation into a religious conflict, which could ignite fire that no one can extinguish,” said Al-Shobky.

Al-Shobky warned that the absence of a settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after more than five decades of Israeli occupation will eventually lead to a rise in religious extremism.

“Almost the whole world” accepts the establishment of a Palestinian state, he said, arguing that the Palestinian territories are eroding because of settlement construction. “This is the most extreme government in the history of Israel,” he said.

Al-Shobky concluded by saying that the stance of the US hinders reaching solutions more than any other factor. “They want us to go again to negotiations, which we tried for 20 years with no outcome,” he asserted. 

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