Time to unilaterally declare Palestine an independent state

By Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef

In the last ten days of Ramadan, Israel invaded Palestine attacking its desired target and apparently succeeded in forcing the US to side with it amidst apprehension that the Biden administration might take a balanced approach in the Middle East.

The western media, as assumed, was quick to set the narrative holding Hamas rocket attacks responsible for Israel’s action, which is no less than an aggression violating all international laws and civilisational ethics.

The immediate reason for the outbreak of violence is said to be Israel’s Supreme Court order which gave green signal to the expulsion of Palestinians living for over a hundred year in Jerusalem’s Abu Ubaidah Bin Jarrah market. The Israeli government argued that the area was purchased 70 years ago.  The Hamas leadership was forced to retaliate.

Note that the Jewish religious ceremonies were underway in which a large number of Jewish pilgrims arrived at the Wailing Wall (adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque). These pilgrims and settlers clashed with Al-Aqsa’s bodyguards. The intention of the Israelis were apparently clear as on several occasions they had damaged the mosque and even tried to burn it. Once they also succeeded in burning the pulpit named after Saladin (Salahuddin). It should be noted that when the United Nations divided Palestine into two parts and formed Israel in 1948, the Jews had only 6%.

Buildings are being blown up, markets are being desecrated and innocents, including a significant number of children,  are being maimed in Israel’s rocket attack. The Zionist regime has violated all international laws – committing war crime – attacking press, medical facilities, schools and residential areas. Gaza’s power lines have been cut off.

More than 250 people have been martyred so far. Thousands of Palestinians have been injured; sadly ,they do not have access to health care. At the same time, 60,000 Palestinians have been rendered homeless. Despite this, the Palestinian nation has clearly refused to bow down –  a clear sign of their victory.

Mahmoud Abbas’s party Al Fateh has almost lost its relevance. Now only Hamas is articulating Palestinian resistance and national aspirations. Hamas has so far fought with courage, bravery and remarkable strategy.

Egypt, as some media reports suggest, has now opened the Rafah border and the Jordanian people are also doing relief work. However, the reality is that this war cannot be fought emotionally but needs tools of superior technology, superior military and strategic knowhow. And here , there is no match between Israel and Hamas.

People question why is it that Israel is so small and so many Arab countries around it can’t do anything in the face of it ? In fact, Israel is not alone. The United States and Europe have always sided with it.

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel, most of them were destroyed by Israel’s defense system (the Iron Dome). They do no harm, but there is a need for building psychological pressure which they are achieving. That is why the Israeli death toll is no more than 10-12. And alas the world blindly declares its bloody aggression as defensive action!

Undoubtedly, Hamas should be commended for understanding that this war is their own war: neither the international community nor the Muslim Ummah will help them. In fact for me, Muslim Ummah is misnomer! That there is no unified political entity called the Muslim Ummah, it is a scattered mass. (I can say that it is at best a spiritual entity in the form of the Muslim people of the world . Therefore, the OIC’s own status in the world today is not much, so expecting a fruitful action from it is hoping against hope and amounts to living in a paradise of fools.

Silence of Arab World

As for the Arab nations , they are all scattered. The hearts of their people certainly beat with the Palestinians, but the rulers are all captives of their own political positions and interests. The hearts of all are torn. Rather, they are toys in the hands of superpowers. The bitter fact is that the British and other powers gave hegemony to these poor people (these toys of small states and feudal sheikhdoms). They have no interest in resolving the issue of Palestine. On the contrary, history tells us that it was the wrong and emotional decisions of the Arab rulers which made the situations worse for Palestinians. The Arab world now believes that “we can’t all do anything in face of Israel, so it’s good to have relations with it.” However, it is now part of history that there is no point in repeating.

The role of Turkey, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan in the current conflict is commendable. It would be a great thing if Turkey could form an army to protect the Palestinians! But in today’s world this does not seem possible. However, one solution seems to be that now is the right time.

A step forward

Palestinians must unilaterally declare independence and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran and Pakistan must immediately recognize, and all countries must work together for its protection and its prosperity. The United Nations and the rest of the world should recognize it. Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other organizations should join the proposed Palestinian army and end their existence as militias and use their energies in developing their new state. Turkey, Iran and Pakistan can also take responsibility for the security of this new state as a result of foreign aggression for the time being. I wonder if this strategy can also be tried as part of the toolkit in which so many other tools have been used so far.

؎ شایدکہ اترجائے ترے دل میں مری باتMay be your heart is open for my suggestion.

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The author is Research Associate Center for Muslim Education and Culture Hindu Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh

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