House: Muslims must unite for Palestine
Paper Edition | Page: 11
House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie expressed hope on Wednesday that all Muslim factions in the Middle East would unite in support of the Palestinian independence process.
“I have always voiced the need for Middle Eastern countries to unite and support the struggle of Palestine,” Marzuki said after opening the International Conference for the Freedom of Al Quds and Palestine, in Bandung, West Java.
Marzuki, who is the president of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC), or Parliament of Islamic States, said the House had always pushed for peace between the two rival Palestinian Muslim factions, Fatah and Hamas.
Should the groups fail to unite, he said, other parties would take advantage of the situation and complicate efforts to liberate Palestine from the Israeli invasion of its soil.
Marzuki added that a concrete display of Indonesian support for Palestine’s independence was demonstrated by the opening of an Indonesian consulate in Ramallah.
The consulate, however, is located within an Israeli controlled area. “The presence of the consulate there should not be taken to signify that we recognize Israel’s occupation of Ramallah,” said Marzuki.
Marzuki said the Indonesian government remained committed to its support of efforts toward Palestine’s independence through aid in the form of a hospital in the Bayt Lahiya area, north of the Gaza Strip. The hospital, to be built on a 16,261-square-meter plot, is projected to have a capacity of 100 beds.
Palestine Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi said division between Arab nations was a drawback for Palestine, especially in terms of combating intimidation and further expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestine soil.
“Every day they seize more of our areas and we are racing against time. This is a harder job than war, so a large quantity of aid is needed which can only come through unity among Muslims,” he said.
Despite that, Fariz expressed optimism that Palestine’s independence “is just a matter of time”.
“Thousands of organizations continue to struggle toward Palestinian independence. The issue has been going on for 65 years. Israel has erased Palestine from the political map and is still trying to establish a state there,” Fariz said, adding that Palestine had met conditions to become a state and set up representative offices in 135 countries.
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