Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, has welcomed as very significant the joint communique from all main Palestinian political forces, agreeing on the need for national political unity to oppose the normalising of relations between Arab states with Israel, and the latest plans to annex Palestine.
This follows an online conference linking Ramallah and Beirut on Thursday night, with representation from all Palestinian political parties and forces for the first time since 2011, under the auspices of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).
The South Antrim MLA and minister in the northern regional Executive, said:
“The outcome of this conference held simultaneously in Ramallah and Beirut, to enable participation by the leaderships of all Palestinian political forces and parties, is a very positive step towards establishing a united strategy against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and plans for ongoing annexation.
“This is the first occasion that all Palestinian leaders have come together collectively since 2011.
“That in itself is highly significant. Division and disagreement among Palestinian political forces has weakened the development of effective opposition to Israeli occupation.
“In the lead up to, and since thIs conference, I have been in contact with leadership representatives from the main Palestinian forces. It is clear they all share a determination to develop a united approach under the leadership of the PLO, to oppose the ongoing, illegal occupation of Palestine.
“As a result of Thursday’s conference, a representative national committee will now be formed, tasked with developing a strategic approach to maximising national unity and political reconciliation, among all Palestinian forces, under the leadership of the PLO. This is a very important development.
“Notwithstanding the significant challenges involved, Sinn Féin urges all the Palestinian leaders to constructively support this initiative. At this time the Palestinian struggle requires a sustainable, strategic programme of united popular resistance, and political opposition against the Israeli occupation.
“The deepening political, economic and health crisis in all of Palestine must not be ignored any longer by the international community.
“The siege of Gaza is an absolute violation of international law and universal rights conventions. Palestinian civilians are being summarily killed and seriously injured by Israeli troops on a daily basis in the West Bank, while Palestinian land continues to be illegally occupied and homes are being demolished.
“This PLO initiative, sponsored by President Mahmoud Abbas, is a serious opportunity to build a unified strategy in support of Palestinian national and human rights.
“It requires encouragement and support from the entire international community.”