quotes No peace without Palestine

23 May 2021
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Updated 23 May 2021

No peace without Palestine

The acts of violence between the Gaza strip and Israel are an indicator of the importance of reaching a lasting and comprehensive peace. Without Israel’s serious will to stop the colonization and Judaization of Jerusalem and acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, violence will be renewed between Israelis and Palestinians despite the truce that came into effect after the unremitting efforts by the Egyptian government, supported by the Saudi government.
In his speech before the UN General Assembly, Saudi Minster of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan stressed that the Kingdom “rejects all Israeli measures seeking to expel the Palestinians from East Jerusalem,” and he condemned what he called “the continuous Israeli colonization on occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem.” This clear statement by the minster shows that Riyadh cannot normalize relations with Tel Aviv unless the latter moves seriously in a direction of establishing peace based on the “Arab Initiative” and the two-states solution.
Saudi Arabia looks at the security of the Middle East as an integral part of its national security, and is aware that as long as the Palestinian cause is not resolved, it will serve as a gateway to strengthen radical rhetoric and armed groups, leading to more violence.
Violent movements that intend to change regimes in the Middle East by force of arms make the Palestinian cause an integral part of their media slogans and intellectual tradition through which to attract the public, and they use it to influence youth and win new recruits. Hence, the continuation of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle will mainly result in strengthening groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, and even more radical groups such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Saudi Arabia is the land of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Hence, its religious and human responsibilities make it give special care to Jerusalem and support the peaceful right of the Palestinians to live in safety and with dignity.

Hassan Al-Mustafa

The latest confrontations in occupied Palestine were mainly caused by “the destruction of the Palestinians’ properties, building the expansionist wall (Israeli West Bank Barrier), confiscating land, houses and properties, and expelling Palestinians by force from their homes and land,” according to the Saudi minister. These practices have pushed Riyadh to call for “an immediate stop to all these illegal policies and practices, which contradict with the obligations of the occupation, according to the UN charter, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Human Rights Law, and the UN resolutions.”
The clear stance of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not sentimental, but was a political statement that Israel’s claim of its desire to establish peace cannot be realized through the expansionist colonialist policies that do not respect Palestinians’ rights and export problems across borders, hence rendering the stance of the Arab states that support peace weaker.
The Israeli government expected the Saudi government to take a lenient stance towards its violent actions against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza. Tel Aviv thought that the Saudi dispute with Iran, its criticism of the Palestinian group Fatah, groups close to the Muslim Brothers such as Hamas, or the Iran-financed ones such as Islamic Jihad, would make Riyadh neutral, or be happy when Israel teaches these groups a lesson.
However, it forgot that Saudi Arabia differentiates between quarrels within the Arab and Islamic ranks and an occupation authority whose escalating violence has caused the death of many civilians and children in Gaza Strip.
Saudi Arabia is the land of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Hence, its religious and human responsibilities make it give special care to Jerusalem and support the peaceful right of the Palestinians to live in safety and with dignity.

• Hassan Al-Mustafa is a Saudi writer and researcher interested in Islamic movements, the development of religious discourse, and the relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Iran. Twitter: @Halmustafa
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