Recognise rights of Palestinians, Israel told
DOHA THE Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani has said that with a stable government in Israel, the time is ripe for the freedom of Palestine.
He asked Israel on Sunday not to ‘miss’ the chance as the ‘rising generation’ of Arab people will not accept “occupation”.
“The Israeli prime minister himself dropped the argument that the fragility of the coalition government does not allow flexibility or compromises. He is now required to take the long-awaited step towards achieving peace that is based on the cessation of settlement, the 1967 borders, and the two-state solution”, HH the Emir said in his inaugural speech at the 12th Doha Forum and Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future Conference.
“Israel must adhere to the rules of international law, recognise the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, withdraw from the Syrian Golan and Lebanese Shebaa Farms and refrain from practices such as building settlements and Judaisation of Jerusalem, otherwise, it will miss the chance for peace because the rising generation of the Arab peoples will not accept injustice or occupation”, he added.
The Arab Spring must be accompanied by a spring for a just peace in the Middle East, which was not possible so long as thousands of Palestinians languish as prisoners in Israeli jails or remain besieged in Gaza and other places.
“Israel cannot rely anymore on its friendship with rulers who were overthrown by the Arab spring revolutions, and it should not be betting on others against its own people and the overall opinion, because then Israel will find itself with no friends at all”, HH the Emir said.
The opening was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah, President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and former president of Senegal and Secretary- General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and a number of other dignitaries.
HH the Emir noted that many events in the Arab region today, had been discussed at the previous Doha forums and had the countries addressed those issues, things would have been different today.
“The Arab uprising was preceded by complete rigidity and ineffective policies of the rulers and the resultant public anger.
Some people had ignored these signals then to be surprised by revolutions that exploded later to announce a historic and unprecedented transformation”, HH the Emir said.
Arab uprisings won or they are on their way to victory, HH the Emir noted, but he also expressed regret at the precious blood of innocents which was shed and is still flowing because some regimes are still rejecting immediate reform.
It will soon be clear that transition to democracy cannot be separated from development, reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and creating favourable economic conditions for expanding the middle class, he said.
HH the Emir underlined that transition to democracy had a number of challenges. “The political freedom, which is the foundation of democracy, does not necessarily lead to economic justice if not accompanied by social and humanitarian development and fair social policies. The ultimate objective should be sustainable development, which includes achieving its economic, social, human and environmental objectives.” HH the Emir underlined that Doha Forum will remain a platform for exchanging opinions about regional and international developments and proposing anything that would promote democracy, development and free trade.