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2022 deadliest in 7 years for Palestinians: Envoy

2022 deadliest in 7 years for Palestinians: Envoy
2023 will be 'a bloody year as well,' says Palestinian Ambassador to Türkiye Faed Mustafa

By Mahmoud Barakat

ANKARA (AA) - With 230 fatalities, 2022 was the deadliest in seven years for Palestinians, and all signs show the escalation will continue as 13 Palestinians, including three children, have already been killed this year, according to Palestinian Ambassador to Türkiye Faed Mustafa.

“2022 was not a year of cold and peace, but rather a hot, bloody year in which the suffering of our people and nation increased,” Mustafa said at a news conference titled “2023: Year of major challenges facing the State of Palestine under the far-right Israeli government.”

He said 171 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank last year and 59 in the blockaded Gaza Strip, making up “the highest death toll in seven years.”

Another 9,353 Palestinians were injured by the Israeli army and settlers, while more than 6,500 were detained, including around 5,000 still languishing in Israeli prisons, he added.

Over 830 homes and other facilities were demolished, more than 13,000 olive trees damaged and uprooted, and over 13,000 settlement units have been built in the West Bank, he said.

There were more than 262 incursions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque by some 48,000 extremists who were protected by Israeli forces, the Palestinian diplomat said.

- Ties with Türkiye

Palestine values its relations with Türkiye, a country that has stood beside us against injustice, the ambassador asserted.

“We have conducted and continue to engage in consultations,” Mustafa said.

He said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday detailing the Palestinian “point of view on everything that is going on and the coordination of efforts between us.”

There was also coordination with Türkiye on the move to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Israeli occupation, he added.

“We coordinated with our brothers in Türkiye, and the (UN) General Assembly approved the move,” he said.

On Dec. 31, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a Palestinian request to seek an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the nature of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“Even if it is just an advisory decision, it sends a message to the world,” he said.

- New Israeli government ‘most extreme’

The new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the “most extreme” and has a “fascist and racist ideology,” Mustafa warned.

In the few days of 2023, 13 Palestinians, including three children, have already been killed, he said.

“It will be a bloody year as well as we have seen in this short period,” he added.

The Israeli government continues to “hold the bodies of 118 martyrs” and has buried more than 256 that it refused to hand over to their families, said Mustafa.

He condemned far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, criticizing him for turning the holy site into “an arena of religious conflict.”

Mustafa said the new Israeli government has also started expanding illegal settlements.

“We direct our message to our partners in the international community. It is not enough to denounce and condemn the Israeli government,” he said, calling for “decisions that help end the injustices against Palestinians.”

- Internal rifts in Israel

Citing recent remarks by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, the Palestinian ambassador said the new right-wing government led by Netanyahu is creating “sharp divisions” in Israeli society.

Netanyahu had “to get rid of the corruption cases against him” and “had no way out but to return as prime minister by relying on these parties,” said Mustafa.

“They are blackmailing Netanyahu,” he asserted.

He said Netanyahu is trying “to control the judiciary through amendments” that would undermine its “impartiality” and make it subservient to the government, moves that some people have even described as “an internal coup.”

Mustafa urged governments and countries to reconsider “seeking to improve relations with an entity ruled by racists and fascists.”

source: News Feed
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