The Head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza called on Wednesday for US President-elect Joe Biden to be just with the Palestinian cause and support Palestinian rights. Dr Essam Yousef told the media that he welcomed the victory of democracy in the US despite the severe polarisation which affected the election.
He asked Biden to work towards establishing the rights of the Palestinian people in their own land. The Palestinian issue, explained Yousef, should be dealt with within the framework of international laws and conventions which recognise the creation of a viable Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. America, he said, should amend its foreign policies in this respect and end the clear bias towards Israel.
The moves made by Donald Trump over the past four years have undermined the two-state solution, the veteran activist pointed out. Moreover, the effects of Washington’s policies since 2016 have been “disastrous” for Palestinian refugees, not least the decision to stop donating to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides essential services such as education, healthcare and food aid.
Yousef stressed the fact that Trump’s so-called deal of the century had given the occupation state a green light to accelerate its construction of illegal settlements and expropriation of Palestinian lands. The annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, he noted, has not been cancelled by the wave of normalisation with Arab states, but simply postponed.
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He also called on Biden to put pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and end the humanitarian catastrophe which the Palestinians in the territory have had to endure for more than 14 years. Furthermore, Palestinian civilians need protection from Israel’s frequent and deadly military offensives and incursions.
In conclusion, Dr Essam Yousef called on the incoming Biden administration to change its policies in the Middle East and take into account the aims and aspirations of the people in terms of development and political and economic reform. To help in this, he suggested, Washington should end its boycott of UN bodies such as UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and UNRWA.