Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney MLA, has welcomed news that a new initiative is underway to find a common platform for all Palestinian forces to oppose Israeli occupation.
Speaking after contact with representatives from both Fatah and Hamas, Declan Kearney said:
“In recent contact with representatives from both Fatah and Hamas, I have been briefed that a new national unity initiative has been launched by President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), of which President Abbas is Chairperson.
“I understand that this initiative seeks to maximise unity among all main Palestinian political forces in opposition to the recently announced attempt to normalise relations with Israel in the Arab world. Not surprisingly, and immediately after that announcement, Israel restated its intention to proceed with the annexation of the West Bank
“All of this comes at a time when, during the past week, military attacks on Gaza have been sustained and Israeli blockades on fuel supply have forced the closure of Gaza’s only power supply plant.
”These talks on national unity will undoubtedly be welcomed by wider Palestinian society, and provide a source of hope in the face of military occupation and ethnic cleansing; the deepening economic crisis within Gaza and the West Bank; and, continued destruction of homes and land seizures in East Jerusalem.
“It is a reality that disunity amongst Palestinian political and resistance forces has been aggressively manipulated and exploited by Israeli governments to weaken support for Palestinian sovereignty, particularly among the international community.
“Sinn Féin has consistently encouraged all genuine efforts to help achieve national reconciliation and unity among Palestinians. Our party supports the development of an agreed strategy to secure the legitimate national and democratic rights of the Palestinian people. We urge constructive engagement by all involved in the current process.
”It is appropriate that the PLO should be representative of all Palestinian political forces, and serve as the agreed forum to both increase political unity, and bring forward an agreed framework which effectively opposes this latest attempt to provide ‘diplomatic cover’ for the increasing repression of the Palestinian people.
“Sinn Féin extends our support to all the Palestinian political leaders involved in this new effort to achieve national unity and progress, and to promote increased international solidarity for Palestine, under the leadership of the PLO.”