Palestinian foreign minister calls Jewish settler attacks ‘organized state terrorism’

Middle East Monitor  /  June 28, 2023

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has condemned recent attacks by Jewish settlers on occupied towns of the West Bank, describing them as “organized terrorism carried out by the State of Israel.”

Al-Maliki also accused the Israeli army of protecting the settlers.

“The army is protecting the settlers charged with terror, fear-mongering, killing and destruction in Palestinian lands,” Al-Maliki told Anadolu [Turkiye’s state-run news agency; see below] in an interview.

He said the purpose of the attacks by Jewish settlers is “to remove Palestinians from their lands in order to spread the illegal settlement project.”

“The settlers’ attacks on the occupied areas of the West Bank are carried out by the Israeli state.

“This is organized terrorism,” he added.

Frustrated with the international community’s approach, Al-Maliki said that “diplomats have made statements, but they are not enough.”

“We expect the countries opposing the occupation to cut ties with Israel, implement sanctions, and to recognize all settlers as illegal terrorists,” he said.

Estimates indicate that around 700,000 Jewish settlers are living in 164 Jewish settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

Call to international community

Al-Maliki also called on the international community — in particular the International Criminal Court and the competent institutions — to play a role in preventing settler attacks.

“Palestine is working hard to report Israeli government officials’ statements and settler attacks to the International Criminal Court, in order to expedite the official investigation into Israel’s terrorist crimes,” he said.

He noted that some Israeli officials have described the organized attacks by settlers in the West Bank as “nationalist terrorism.”

“The purpose of these statements may be to protect Israeli institutions in the eyes of international law and the international community in order to show that there is a difference between the terrorist acts committed by the settlers and the state institutions,” he said.

“Palestinians, however, know that terrorism exists, and not only from the settlers, but also from the state.”

Religious war

Al-Maliki said that attacks carried out by the Israeli army kept the region in a constant state of conflict.

“The continuation of the current situation will drag the region into a religious war,” he warned.

“The international community needs to take action before the situation reaches a point of no return.”

Relations between Palestine and Turkiye

The Palestinian foreign minister emphasized that relations between Turkiye and Palestine are much more than friendship.

“The Turkish government and people attach great importance to what is happening in Palestine,” said Al-Maliki.

“Turkish leaders are among the first to react to Israel’s crimes,” he added.

He also noted that “Turkiye’s vision towards Palestine is ahead of many other countries.”

Al-Maliki emphasized that “Palestine is ready to coordinate with the Turkish authorities on all the necessary measures to protect the rights of the Palestinians.”

Abbas’ visit to China

Al-Maliki said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not make any particular statement regarding the Uyghur Turks in China.

“The claim that the president or any Palestinian official has made any statement regarding the Uyghur Turks in China is absolutely not true,” he said.

He said that such “fabricated news is aimed at disrupting relations between Turkiye and Palestine.”

“We, as the Palestinian Authority, are not bound by every word or position adopted by any state,” he noted.

The Palestinian official said that Abbas supported the “One China” policy in his speeches.

“Abbas stated that China has the right to deal with Taiwan and Hong Kong issues. However, human rights issues should not be politicized,” Al-Maliki said.

He reiterated that the Palestinian position aligns with that of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement countries and the United Nations resolutions.