Events in Israel and Palestine: Liberation Statement

Liberation is appalled and saddened in equal measure by the bloodshed and rapidly deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine since the unfolding of events on the morning of Saturday 7 October 2023; the sheer horror already visited upon innocent civilians, Israeli and Palestinian alike; and what it portends for so many more over the coming days.

We are alarmed by the looming humanitarian crisis and very real risk of escalation to a catastrophic wider conflagration in an already hugely volatile region.

We urgently call upon both sides to the conflict to exercise maximum restraint and take the necessary steps to de-escalate the situation immediately in the name of humanity.

Against this fraught backdrop, Liberation joins its courageous friends in the Hadash Democratic Front for Peace and Equality in unequivocally condemning any attack on innocent civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian, and call upon all parties to the conflict to remove civilians from the cycle of violence.

Those taken captive by Hamas militants over the course of the last 48 hours must be afforded dignity, protection, and their human rights – and a peaceful end to their ordeal must be effected forthwith.  The same should apply to the thousands incarcerated in Israel without evidence, charge, or due process under ‘administrative detention’.  Both are flagrant violations of international law.

However, Liberation recognises and underlines that the current terrible situation did not somehow arise out of the blue one Saturday morning in October, but was in fact one long in the making.  In this respect, we echo the exasperated cries of the Palestinian National Authority (PA) officials who have consistently warned that for as long as a such a void was allowed to develop – whereby the Palestinian people and their legitimate and righteous demands for national self-determination remained perpetually downtrodden, while the state of Israel was afforded total impunity to inflict its military occupation upon Palestine and her people as well as continually ride roughshod over the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law – an explosion of this magnitude was only a matter of when, not if.  

Liberation holds that it is incumbent upon the international community – under the auspices of the UN – to move to ensure that the terrible events of the past two days become the definitive juncture, the beginning of the end to this long-running and tragic conflict, and the point at which the world states clearly and resoundingly “enough is enough!”

The international community, particularly in the West, can choose to double down on its hitherto one-sided stance of unquestioning support for the state of Israel while blanketly condemning the Palestinians, thereby perpetuating the whole vicious cycle of this conflict. Or it can make the brave and conscionable decision to uphold its own rules and bring pressure to bear on the government in Tel Aviv, leaving it under no doubt that the current situation and intolerable pressures to which the Palestinian people are subjected cannot somehow continue ad infinitum.   

The only lasting solution to this crisis, the only remedy for this long-festering wound – for there is no other way – is nothing short of the realisation and upholding of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to national self-determination encompassing full statehood.  Thus, Liberation reiterates its call for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine within the borders as they stood on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees – as per Oslo and the respective UN Resolutions on the issue – as well as the immediate and unconditional lifting of the air, land, and sea embargo on Gaza.



Dr. Husam Zomlot, Ambassador, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, former Head of the PLO Mission to the US, and Strategic Affairs Advisor to the President of Palestine, talked to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Saturday 7 October 2023. He succinctly articulated the position of the Palestinian National Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) – one Liberation wholeheartedly concurs with and supports. We reproduce the interview below – also click on the link to watch it.

Watch the video


Christiane Amanpour (CA):  So, let’s bring in Husam Zomlot now.  He is the Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK.  Welcome to the programme.  First and foremost, do you condemn what Hamas did inside Israel to Israeli civilians?  There are dead and there are hostages.

Husam Zomlot (HZ):  First and foremost, the Western media must really abandon this framework that has gotten us to where we are today.

CA:  Okay, but I just want to know, do you support the killing of civilians?

HZ:  Of course not.

CA:  So, do you condemn that?

HZ:  The loss of civilian lives is tragic on all sides.  And what is happening is extremely worrying and very tragic.  As we speak, the loss of lives, you’ve counted 70 Israeli deaths…  There are more than 200 Palestinian deaths so far.  More than 1,600 entire residential compounds are being wiped out.  This is a war crime committed by Israel.  What is equally tragic is the blindness and the deafness of the world and the international community for so many years, of the warnings we have been stating that this was coming.  Israel knew that this was coming their way.  We, the National Movement of Palestine, the PLO, found a different path 30 years ago.  We have committed to what the world asked of us: to recognise Israel, [and] to commit to negotiations and nonviolence, and to international legitimacy and [UN] resolutions.  Israel was expected to do one thing only: to roll back its occupation.  To stop its colonial settlement expansion.  Not one day did it do so, killing the prospects of the Two-State Solution.  And the world was expected to do one thing, Christiane: uphold international law equally on everybody, on Ukraine, on Palestine.  And the world fails to do that.  No accountability.  Now, every single political avenue is blocked.  Every single legal avenue for us is blocked.  Like the ICJ, the International Court of justice.  You’ve heard what the US said.

CA:  I want to know what happens now.  There’s a war that Israel has declared after the Palestinian militants, who I don’t think are your friends.  Hamas is not a supporter of the Palestinian Authority.  There’s a war and, as you say, there’s going to be a massive escalation.

HZ:  There is a war, you see.  We’re having this conversation because Israelis have seen what they have seen today.  But my people see this every day.  Every single day, Palestinians are targeted, killed, arrested, or rounded up.  Their land is confiscated.  Their holy places are desecrated.  Not only Muslims, but Christians [as well].  You have been following what is happening in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in our Christian churches, the spitting on Christian worshippers.  Our people have been seeing apartheid being enforced upon them over the last [few] years and their land being taken.  And the hope for a political solution that will fulfil their rights is dissipating.  And, therefore, this is what we need to discuss, Christiane.

CA:  I know. But, I mean, as you know, neither the Israeli political spectrum, nor the United States, nor anybody…  It’s like the Palestinian issue doesn’t exist anymore.  The Two-State Solution, trying the diplomacy, is on deep freeze.  Can I first ask you, though, before we get to there, what triggered this attack?  It’s on a certain date.  It’s 50 years to the date, just about, 6 October [from the] Yom Kippur [War] when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel.  What do you think triggered this?  And it was a very sophisticated Hamas attack.

HZ:  I don’t know.  I really, really don’t know.  What I know is that it was a matter of when, not if.  We’ve been shouting every day, don’t leave a vacuum, don’t unheed what we are saying, pay attention.  Don’t underestimate the people’s desire for freedom, for ending their bondage and captivity.  Pay attention to the destruction that Israel is doing.  Make sure that these supremacists in the Israeli government are not going to turn the whole thing upside down.  And, therefore, this is not about timing and all of that.  This is about the fact that we discuss everything except the core thing, the fundamental issue, the root causes.  And we’ve been doing this for 75 years.  You know that 70 percent of the population in Gaza, the Palestinians are refugees since the Nakba of 1948.  You know that they have been under besiegement since 2007.  The biggest open-air prison.  This is what leads to the events that you want to ask [me about].

CA:  So, here’s the thing.  Obviously, the Israelis will say this is what happens when we evacuate, for instance our withdrawal from Gaza, which they have done [in 2005].  And you’re right, it is sealed, and it is a very heavily guarded situation.  But what happens now?  So, for instance, I was speaking to the former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, and he said even you, the Palestinian Authority, all of you guys who are in the West Bank, you’re under threat from Hamas and that […] Mustafa [Barghouti] and Mahmoud Abbas are only alive because Israel keeps them alive, that you’re under such threat from your own people.  What would you answer to that?

HZ:  Nonsense!  Absolute nonsense!  And Israelis lie all the time!  What the people, our people in Gaza are subjected to, is the same as in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and [among] our refugees and diaspora.  We are united by our suffering and we are united by our goal, which is to end this occupation, end this illegality.  We have our political differences, of course, but we make no mistake that the one thing that we need to rid ourselves of is the Israeli military occupation, is the colonisation, is the system of racial domination that has been imposed upon us.  We make no mistake on that.  So, this is not a Palestinian vs. Palestinian internal affair.  This is the failure of every international actor (activist) to pay attention to every international actor (activist).  You see, instead of learning the lessons, what I heard today from many international actors, including from the US and the UK, is the doubling down on the very same mistakes and failures that have led us to where we are.

CA:  What is the option right now?  What happens?  Israel doesn’t respond to Hamas.

HZ:  The alternative statesmanship is courage…  For the equal application of international law.  We are not lesser human beings.  We are not the children of a lesser God.  We are all equal as nations.  It has been 75 years…  75 years of oppression, of wholesale destruction.  You’ve seen what happens in Gaza.  Wait until tomorrow and see the thousands who will lose their lives and their livelihoods.  Enough is enough!  The only solution is to respect the people’s legitimate birthright of self-determination, the right to return to their properties, the right to establish a state of their own, and stop dodging this.  Stop finding, you know, detours around it.  There is no such a thing as detour [as far as this issue is concerned].  Peace can only be struck with us, the Palestinians, not with anyone else. because Israel is at odds with us, because Israel has taken our land, because Israel is subjugating us and oppressing us, not anybody else.  And bravery from the international community requires the equal application of international law.  Israel, as an occupying power, has a full responsibility to protect the civilians under its own occupation.  Right?  This is international law.  Israel has the full responsibility to make sure no civilian is harmed.  It has been doing the opposite for 75 years.  You’ve just shown this in your own programme.

CA:  Do you worry that the statement you’re making is completely compromised [undermined] when Palestinian militants, terrorists, bomb Israeli civilians, kill them, capture them, hold them hostage?  How do you keep the moral high ground in that case?

HZ:  No!  We keep the moral high ground by sticking to international law.  By reverting to the international judicial system.  By seeking the rulings of the International Criminal Court.  Let international judges come to Palestine, to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and rule.  And we will accept their ruling.  If we commit any mistakes or crimes, we will accept [responsibility].  But everybody knows that it’s Israel that has been violating every provision of international law and our common human decency.

CA:  The final question.  Is there any mediator, the US or anybody else, right now who could de-escalate this?

HZ:  The US is completely disqualified.  And I’ve been following what is coming from Washington.  Washington considers Israel to be a domestic issue, not a foreign policy issue.  And Washington is playing political football with this and, regrettably, we have been at the receiving end.  The solution is with the world, the international community.  The US should be at the table, but so should Europe, so should the rest of the world, so should China.  The world must come together to end this conflict as it has done with all other conflicts.  We are not an exception.

CA:  Husam Zomlot, the Head of the Palestinian Mission here, thank you for that perspective.

Photo: Palestine 2009. Israel’s Wall in Bethlehem, West Bank./CC

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