Palestine Liberation Organization
Negotiations Affairs Department
Dr. Erekat: “The international community must pay its historic debt to the Palestinian people”
Marking Al-Nakba, Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat called upon the international community to “pay its historic debt to the Palestinian people.”
May 15 marks over six decades of the Palestinian catastrophe (Nakba), which saw the forced expulsion of almost 70% of the Palestinian people and the destruction of over 400 Palestinian villages.
“Sixty-four years ago, a nation’s thriving society and rich culture was forced into exile and mass expulsion. A country was wiped out off the map. Today, the international community has the moral responsibility to repair what has been done by putting an end to Israel’s impunity and realizing the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence, and return, in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions,” said Erekat.
Dr. Erekat added, “Al-Nakba is a somber occasion that the international community must use to right the historical injustice that befell the Palestinian people. During the past sixty-four years, Israel has violated dozens of United Nations resolutions that recognize and support the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and return. This continued violation has made a mockery of the international system and threatened international peace.”
Dr. Erekat also called upon Israel to recognize Al Nakba and Palestinian rights: “Today, Eleven million Palestinians around the world remember the loss and injustice of that dark era while reaffirming their commitment to ending their exile and oppression. We honor our rich history on the land while persevering in our march towards freedom. If Israel is truly interested in peace and a two-state solution, it should recognize the rights and the suffering of our people.”
The chief negotiator concluded by welcoming the European Union’s statement on the Middle East peace process, noting, “It is a step in the right direction that clearly shows what we all see on the ground: That Israel has been doing everything possible to destroy the prospects for a two-state solution and to render attempts at reaching a just and agreed settlement to the conflict meaningless. We call on the EU to protect its investment in peace and its vision for a two-state solution by exerting every effort within its power to end the Israeli occupation. ”
For more information about the cultural aspect of Nakba, please view our new publication: Nakba – The Untold Story of a Cultural Catastrophe