Wednesday, June 6, 2007

1967: Our rights have to be recognised

Israel must recognise our basic entitlements if it is serious about peace, writes Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh

By Ismail Haniyeh

Wednesday June 6, 2007
The Guardian

"......The occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai peninsula was portrayed as the victory of David over Goliath. For the next two decades the Palestinian experience was drowned out by the clamour of Israeli hubris. The world paid little attention to the expropriation of Palestinian land, the apartheid regime established by the occupation and the systematic destruction of Palestinian livelihoods.

It was only in 1987 that the world awoke to the reality of a popular Palestinian uprising - intifada. A new generation had come of age, thirsty for freedom and peace with dignity in their own land. The two decades since have confirmed that my people will not repeat the mistakes of 1948. They will remain rooted in their land, whatever the price, and pursue their legitimate right to resist the occupation. That right is supported by, for example, UN Resolutions 2955 and 3034, which affirm the "inalienable" right of all peoples to self-determination and the legitimacy of their struggle against foreign domination and subjugation "by all available means".

Israel's fateful error was to underestimate the resolve of the Palestinians. Tens of thousands have been killed or wounded by the Israeli army since 1967. During 2006, the number of Palestinians killed reached 650. Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel - about 40% of the male population. Today three-quarters of the Palestinian people are displaced: there are 5 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world......"

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