By Byron Mutingwende
The Palestinian question can only be addressed adequately through dialogue, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has said. He made the call during the courtesy call by Taghrid Senouar, the Ambassador of Palestine at Parliament Building on 16 January 2018.
“Dialogue is the best approach to the Palestinian question. The use of force is not a solution to the Palestinian cause. There is need for engagement as individual countries and collectively in terms of the 1967 Code that was agreed to but is being violated from time to time,” Mudenda said.
The Palestinian Ambassador briefed the Speaker on developments in Palestine and thanked Zimbabwe for its continued support for Palestinians to achieve their national aspirations to live as an independent and sovereign state.
“There is need to respect the rights of refugees. Refugees have the right of return and compensation. More than half of the Palestinian population has been uprooted for more than 70 years. In recent times, Israel has been occupying our land through settlements,” Senouar said.
Palestinians are being continuously detained by Israel and the West Bank conflict is escalating everyday. The Ambassador said Israel was on the wrong side of history since occupation was not acceptable in the 21st Century. She urged Israel to observe international law since it was not possible to preach about peace while maintaining the illegal occupation.
Mudenda said the meeting was very instructive since the Ambassador informed him about the implication of the declaration by President Trump that Jerusalem should be the capital city of Israel yet it is sacred to Palestinians who regarded it as their capital before Israel was established as a state in 1948.
He urged the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to take a proactive approach by sending delegations on a fact-finding mission to ensure that human rights law and the international refugee law are observed by Israelites in so far as the treatment of refugees is concerned. The majority of members of the United Nations General Assembly disagree with Trump’s pronouncements.
“There is convergence of ideological posture in terms of for the sovereignty of Palestine. The Arab League should come up with a clearly defined peace process to bring finality on the Palestinian question,” Mudenda said.