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Newspaper La Capital
Rosario, Santa Fe - Monday, June 20 of 2005

Interview with the Ambassador of the Palestine National Authority in Argentina

Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is going to be a failure (view)

Suhail Hani Daher Akel said that while the territorial occupation continues, violence is not going to stop.

Israel has scheduled to withdraw all its military points and 21 settlements from Gaza Strip, a region which has been historically claimed by Palestinians, in the middle of August. However, the prospects for the evacuation plan seem to become complicated day after day due to the lack of coordination between the parts in conflict and due to the fact that they are increasingly fearing a possible uprising of violence. Last week, the Palestinian militias, including Hamas and the Islamic Yihad, threatened to break the truce with Israel. During a visit to Rosario, the ambassador of the Palestine National Authority (PNA) in Argentina, Suhail Hani Daher Akel, had an interview with La Capital where he assured that the withdrawal will be a “failure”, take into account the terms imposed by Israel. He stated that militias are not an obstacle and he added that occupation is the mother of violence”.

-Which is going to be the background in Gaza after the finalization of the Israeli withdrawal?

-We expect that Israel totally withdraws not only from Gaza but also from all the Palestinian territory which has been occupied since the 1967 war, including East Jerusalem. But the withdrawal is not co-ordinated; if it takes place under Israel’s terms, it will be a failure. Israel is withdrawing from there in an unilateral way and it does not sign agreements. It means that it can go back there when it just occurs to it. We sign agreements; we do not negotiate offers as if we were merchants. Israel speaks of disconnection and the one who disconnects itself may connect itself again. Israel’s Gaza stance is part of the hypocrisy policy of the occupation.

-The evacuation has a political price for Israel since it must re-locate eight thousand settlers. Is the PNA prepared to pay a similar price and disarm militias?

-Israel took settlers to those territories and now it has to withdraw them from there. Besides it withdraws them from Gaza in order to take them to Jerusalem; this is inappropriate. It does not matter if we have to disarm our militias, but we wonder whether Israel is going to disarm its occupation army and whether it is in good condition of stopping the “Apartheid Wall”, which gets into 30 kilometres in Palestinian territory. What we demand is not only in the Road Map but also in several UN resolutions. Militias are not an obstacle; the occupation is an obstacle. If Israel promises to disarm the occupation army, these militias may become an armed army, just as in any other country. The problem is that there are 30 thousand heavily armed Israeli soldiers who control the Palestinian life. Being rebel is in the human being nature; but when a human being is suffocated or his territories are occupied, fighting is the only solution he finds.

-Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to the United States seemed to open a new stage, which is totally different to the one of Yasser Arafat. Does this approach have any effect?

-I was really pleased that President Bush received a Palestinian President for the first time, but I was not pleased that he did not receive Arafat because if you want to achieve peace, you have to listen to both parts. Anyway, we expect that the United States –which implements an almost-extermination policy with belligerent countries- become heavily involved. Iraq is not a belligerent country, but it is destroyed. Cuba is another example. Israel is a belligerent country, which is condemned by the United Nations, but Bush doesn’t care. We do not want the Israeli people to be destroyed, but we want the United States to strongly exert pressure on Israel in order to put an end to the occupation.

-If Gaza Strip is politically controlled by Hamas, whose object is the destruction of Israel, just as it is stated in its foundation documents, what could happen?

-Hamas has never said so. Israel is one of the few countries, where there is a Nazi extreme-right system, a violent system which affects its own people. The occupation is the mother of violence and while the occupation continues, violence is going to take place in the Palestinian territories.

Interview: Carolina Taffoni

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