Week of El-Quds opens in Algeria: Algerians reiterate unwavering, principled position in favor of defenseless brotherly Palestinians

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ALGIERS- The “Week of Al-Quds in Algeria” demonstration opened, on Thursday in Algiers, with the aim of defending the sacred values ​​of the Muslim nation.

The speakers, headed by the El Baraka Association for charity and humanitarian work, reaffirmed “the obligation to achieve Palestinian unity in order to face the Zionist entity”.

The president of the Association, Ahmed El Ibrahimi affirmed in a speech that “the Palestinian dossier as a just cause was able to reunite the Arab and Muslim nation”, appealing for the unification of the Palestinian ranks.

“I call upon the Palestinian leaders to put on the shelf their domestic rifts, creating a united front aimed at addressing the onus fallen on their shoulders. A favorable atmosphere should be created to address the catastrophic ordeal the Palestinians are passing through. Palestinian national unity stands to be the only basis for achieving the hopes and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in defeating and thwarting the Zionist schemes that hide behind the titles and slogans of normalization, as well as its perfidious policies aimed at displacing the Palestinian people through creeping Judaization and illegal settlement and forcefully altering the Palestinian religious and historical landmarks,” Mr. Ahmed El Ibrahimi stressed.

Describing this demonstration as a “great event”, Mr. El Ibrahimi referred to its coincidence with the last week of the month of Rajab, marked by the celebration of Isra and Miraj (The Night Journey).

“The week of El Quds is an international event held annually with the participation of 45 countries and 320 establishments,” he pointed out, adding that “all the mosques of Algeria will dedicate the Friday sermon to the Palestinian cause”.

For his part, the secretary general of the Association of Muslim Ulemas, Kamel Abou Sana, affirmed that “the Muslim nation is going through great challenges and the resistance to the Zionist occupation is a national duty for all the Palestinians in particular and the Muslims in general.

The president of the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) party, Abderrezak Makri, for his part, indicated that Palestine represents “our past, present and future”, calling on the Palestinians to national unity.

In addition, the representative of the National Liberation Front Party (FLN), Nadir Belgren affirmed that the Palestinian cause “is sacred for the Algerians”, welcoming Algeria’s position condemning normalization.

In the same context, Nasreddine Hazam, president of the Association El Islah wa El Irchad (Reform and Guidance) has pledged to pay a special contribution estimated at 2 billion centimes to support the Palestinian cause.

For his part, the representative of the Hamas Movement in Algeria, Ahmed Abou Al-Bara addressed three essential axes in his speech: how to support Al Quds, the role required and finally addressing a vibrant message to the Zionist occupier that “the armed resistance will not cease”.

For his part, the director of the Popular Committee for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Mohamed Taher Dilmi highlighted the role of Algerian associations in the support shown for the Palestinian cause, at a time when other countries have betrayed the brotherly Palestinian people, warning against the Zionists who are trying to penetrate into Africa.

Speaking on this occasion, the president of the Al-Baraka Association for charitable and humanitarian work raised a number of draft recommendations, in particular the institution of the month of Rajab, month of support for Gaza, the invitation of the Islamic peoples and Arabs to translate their projects on the ground, and the exhortation of governments and peoples to support, materially and financially, the Palestinian cause in its resistance.

Do note that this-year celebration is held in a context marked by harrowing crimes committed by the Zionist regime, the intensification of the Zionist settlement operations in Palestine, and the persistent blockage of the peace process, exacerbated by the normalization of relations between the Zionist entity and some Arab countries, dubbed as a betrayal to the Palestinian cause.

Palestinian people continue to lose territory to the Zionists, while the living conditions of the Palestinians have deteriorated more and more amid poverty, denial of fundamental freedoms through the systemic discrimination and subjugation, forcible evictions, and demolition orders of Palestinian property in the neighborhoods of Sheik Jarrah and Silwan. This culminated, more recently, in spurring violence that claimed the lives of innocent women, children, and the elderly during the 11-day offensive on the Gaza Strip that began on May 10, amounting to war crimes. There was a deliberate intention by the Zionist occupation forces to inflict more casualties among the civilians to push the Palestinian people to accept the existence of the Zionist Entity.

A total of 243 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed during the Zionist attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10. Clashes erupted, on May 13, across the occupied territories because of the Zionists’ attacks and restrictions on Palestinians in the Eastern part of Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as a Zionist court’s decision to evict 12 Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Zionist settlers.

The decision on the forced displacement is itself, a war crime and aggression against humanity, transforming the Zionist judiciary into a barbaric tool to pass racist Zionist expansion agendas to the detriment of the Palestinian civilians.

The tension moved to Gaza on May 10, leading to a military confrontation between the Zionist forces and the Palestinian resistance groups, where the Zionist warplanes have caused an unprecedented scale of destruction in the Palestinian homes and infrastructure.

Palestinians are also victims of repeated military attacks, claiming the lives of several innocent civilians (men, women, and children), especially in the Gaza strip, which has been under a strict blockade for 15 years.

The Zionists are committing violations against worshipers in Al-Quds “Jerusalem” by preventing them from accessing places of worship, at the top of which, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, resorting to an excessive force against them in a way that threatens their lives and most likely leads to death. In the holy month of Ramadan, at least 305 people sustained varying injuries as the Zionists stormed the Esplanade of Mosques in East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by Jewish settlers.

The Zionist Entity is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs in the occupied territories, with a view to maintaining the domination by Jewish Zionists over Palestinians.

The Zionist regime has become the sole governing power alongside extremely-limited Palestinian self-rule, where the Zionists are methodically highly-privileged, while Palestinians have been dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas… these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Noting that the Apartheid system was a policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group and systematically oppressing them”. The 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopts a similar definition.

For its part, Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled: “A Threshold Crossed,” states that Palestinians are suffering from the Apartheid;

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director.

“These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

In addition, this celebration comes at a time when the Palestinian cause has experienced a dangerous slippage, marked by the signing, at the end of 2020, of “normalization agreements” between the Zionist entity and four Arab countries.
The Palestinian cause taken hostage:

In 2020, a watershed year for the Zionists’ diplomatic integration into the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity, within the framework of the “Abraham Accords”.

This is a political error, a betrayal of Al-Quds, al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian cause, and a stab in the back of the Palestinians. For the latter, such normalization with the Zionist Entity encourages the occupation forces to commit more violations against the Palestinian people, paving the way for more aggressive war and the expansion of Zionism, Judaization, and colonization of Palestinian land.

It is in this wake that a vast outpouring of international solidarity with the Palestinian people was launched, in particular, in countries that have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity through demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests against these agreements.
Morocco and Palestine

Morocco, whose king is the Chairman of the El-Quds Committee, normalized its relations with the Zionist Entity on December 10, 2020, in exchange for the recognition by former US President Donald Trump of the kingdom’s alleged “sovereignty” over Western Sahara.

This barter was condemned, in the strongest term, throughout the world and especially by Algeria and the Moroccan people who took to the streets for several days to express their rejection of this agreement, organizing demonstrations often repressed by the regime in place.

More recently, the Makhzen regime and the Zionist entity inked a framework agreement aimed at strengthening the security cooperation between the Moroccan and the Zionist intelligence services, nearly one year after the normalization of their relations, amidst broad popular disagreement. A move dubbed as shameful and disgraceful by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algeria and Palestine

Algerian President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, urged, on different occasions, the international community to assume its historic responsibilities towards the practices of Zionist occupation aimed at undermining the building of the sovereign Palestinian state, while reiterating Algeria’s unwavering and firm support for the struggle of Palestinian people to recover their stolen rights. He stressed, once again, with a well-articulated position, his rejection of all forms of normalization with the Zionist Entity, deploring the four Arab countries’ scrambling to normalize relations.

“We have noticed a kind of scramble (a mad rush) towards normalization. This is something we will never participate in, nor bless. Palestine’s cause is sacred, and we will not give it up,” the Algerian President said.

He repeatedly expressed the country’s preparedness to invite all Palestinian groups to a comprehensive meeting in Algeria. Tebboune’s words were applauded by Palestinians and Algerians alike, who have a long history of intertwined solidarity.

Palestinian factions praised President Tebboune for his government’s strong opposition to any bids aimed at establishing ties with the Zionist Entity, calling on Arab rulers to follow suit and reject all forms of normalization.

There is no doubt that when Algerian President Tebboune called the Palestinian cause “sacred”, he was truly speaking on behalf of the Algerian people whose history is marked by resistance against colonial powers. Algerians remain stick to their pro-Palestine stance, considering the Palestinian cause the mother of all causes. Their beliefs about national sovereignty and the right for countries to determine their own destiny are central, firmly committed to the principles of a sovereigntist governing ideology, based on their national pride, far away from any quid pro quo deals, capable of exercising foreign pressure on their country.

In 1988, noteworthy, when Palestine declared, from Algiers, its independence, Algeria was the very first country worldwide to officially recognize its statehood. This decision further contributed to the deeply-rooted Algerian-Palestinian relations. Even when other Arab states, notably those which signed the “Abraham Accords” last year, dropped their pan-Arab commitments to the Palestinian struggle, Algeria has stood by the cause.

For its part, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas hailed Algeria’s principled positions, describing the signing, by the Moroccan regime, of several agreements, particularly in the security and military spheres, with the Zionist enemy as an unjustified act whatever the pretext or the objective.

For the Hamas movement, the normalization and signing of agreements between Rabat and the Zionist Entity “would lead the Zionists to commit more crimes against the Palestinian Arab people and to the violation of their legitimate rights to freedom, independence and return “.

The agreement, noteworthy, was inked in a visit to Rabat by the Zionist Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, received by Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration Abdellatif Loudiyi. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding which launches officially the security cooperation in all its aspects (operational planning, procurement, research, and development) between Morocco and the Zionist entity, according to media close to the Moroccan military circles.

On the other hand and more recently, the plans of the Zionists to sneak quietly into the African Union as an observer state have been, spectacularly, backfired as Algeria, one of Palestine’s strongest supporters in Africa, garnered huge support to oppose the Zionists’ affiliation.

The tireless efforts exerted by Algeria, alongside its friends to rescind the observer status granted to the Zionist Entity in the African Union (AU), have been crowned with success. The Zionist entity’s observer status in AU has been suspended on the second day of the 35th African Union Summit held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under the theme: “Strengthening Food Security: Accelerating the Development of Human, Social and Economic Capital in the African Continent.”

Several calls have been made within the AU to retract the decision. The latter constituted a hot issue that was fiercely debated, on Sunday, Feb 6, 2022, at the 35th AU Summit, as major African countries, specifically in north and southern Africa, have joined the push to expel the Zionists. These countries back the historic Algerian-led initiative, enthusiastically supported by South Africa, to put an end to the Zionists’ stealth after two decades of quiet diplomacy in the continent following its ouster from the organization, in 2003, by the former Libyan President, the late Muammar Gaddafi.

To this end, Algeria and South Africa, two countries known for their unwavering support of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people, opposed the decision taken by the Chairman of the AU Commission and succeeded in imposing this sensitive issue on the order of the second day of the 35th Conference of the Union. Both countries called, in the strongest terms, on AU to reverse its unjustified move.

On the second day of the African Summit, Algeria, along with friendly Arab and African countries, accomplished a promise that seemed impossible to some parties, suspending the presence of the Zionist entity within the institutions of the African Union until further study.

The suspension means that the decision of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission no longer has any effect and that the Zionists no longer enjoy any capacity in the institutions of the African Union until the conclusion of this file, whose study was assigned to a committee consisting of seven heads of state, including Algeria, which undertakes the task of preparing a recommendation for the next EU summit on this issue.

The Committee includes Senegal President Macky Sall, in his capacity as the current President of the African Union, and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in addition to the presidents of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Rwanda, Paul Kagame, Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and Cameroon, Paul Biya, in addition to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi.

According to the aforementioned decision, the fate of the Zionists is now hanging in the hands of the members of the committee formed to study this issue.

Except for the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, who is considered the godfather of the decision to grant membership to the Zionist entity in the African Union as an observer, the remaining countries are in line with the Algerian initiative that was enthusiastically supported by South Africa, due to the latter’s honorable struggle against the policy of apartheid (racial discrimination), suffered by the people of South Africa, and now by the Palestinian people due to the practices of the Zionists.

Do note that Algeria has voiced its rejection of the unilateral decision on multiple occasions, taking, from the date of its announcement, vigorous steps with several friendly African countries to revoke the decision that aims at achieving political, economic, security, and military gains for the Zionists in the continent that unwelcome Apartheid. On July 22, the Zionist Foreign Ministry said its Ambassador in Ethiopia, Admasu Allele, had presented his credentials as an observer member to the AU. The Ministry did not provide details about the reasons behind the move.

Straightaway, Algiers waged a declared war against this illegal accession. It officially started forming an African state team to reject the decision. So far, Algeria has held intensive consultations that lasted for about three months, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamamra, who was received by the Senegalese President, who is the new head of the African Union, Macky Sall, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of this country, which has great respect for Algeria.

Subsequently, Algeria succeeded in teaming up with South Africa, Tunisia, Eritrea, Senegal, Tanzania, Niger, Egypt, Comoros, Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Mali, and Seychelles to protest against the move.

In addition, and except for Morocco, the other members of the Arab League were against granting observer status to the Zionist Entity. Algeria had deplored, last November, the position of Rabat which “led a campaign in favor of this status.”

Lamamra’s ministerial department drew attention to the fact that “the continued occupation of Palestine by the Zionists goes against the letter and spirit of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as its obligation to respect and implement the respective Resolutions of the United Nations.”

In this vein, FM Lamamra asserted, in all his meetings, that the Algerian diplomacy would not “stand silent before a step that was taken by the AU without prior consultations with the member states.”

“The AU’s acceptance of the Zionist Entity as an observer member aims to strike at the stability of Algeria, which stands with Palestine and just causes,” Lamamra stressed.

As a reaction to Algeria’s principled stance, the Palestinian Hamas Resistance movement expressed its profound gratitude to Algeria for its great and tireless efforts to have the Zionist Entity’s AU observer status revoked.

“Hamas has been closely following up preparations for the upcoming African summit in the Ethiopian capital, and the success of the brotherly state of Algeria’s efforts to put expulsion of the Zionist Entity from the African Union high on the agenda of the meeting,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

He noted that such a position is highly appreciated by the Palestinian nation, describing it as a reflection of Algeria’s nobility.

The Hamas official called on Arab and African countries to throw their weight behind Algeria’s efforts in this regard and offer greater cooperation for the success of its bid.

He also said the Algerian position was “a clear reflection of the Arab world’s spirit and the African continent’s principles,” stressing that “African Union member states should be unanimously demanding the expulsion of the occupying Zionist regime from the bloc.”

We consider that what Algeria and its friends have achieved in the African Union is a great success. It will be classified in the chapter of Algerian diplomatic victories: Algeria was among the first to oppose this decision that goes against the founding principles of the pan-African organization.

Returning to this-year celebration, it constitute a new opportunity for many free countries and brave peoples to express their unwavering and coherent support for the Palestinian people, calling on the international community to translate its words into actions in the face of the dangerous escalation in the Palestinian territories and the UN to honor its commitments.
Epilogue

To this end, the whole world is also called upon to exert real pressure on the Zionist Entity… the enemy of humanity with a view to putting an end to its systematic violation of human rights and enforcement of discrimination against the Palestinian people. Besides, the UN and its member states should take appropriate actions as 74 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) to partition Palestine into two separate states, no concrete actions have been taken so far.

Instead, the hope of achieving sustainable political settlements is fading away with an entity blatantly showing disdain for international human rights law, including two key international human rights instruments, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on Socioeconomic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), both of which have as their first Article, the Right to Self-Determination, as well as a continuous disrespect of internationally adopted provisions and principles in this direction.

The UN should be held accountable for its evident lack of action in recent years. It lost its credibility for non-abide by the adopted resolutions and turning a blind eye to the Zionists who blatantly flout the relevant UN resolutions, laws of international legitimacy, and international terms of reference, and deny agreements in an attempt to impose the status quo policy, and hamper the building of the sovereign Palestinian state.

This organization is called to honor its commitments to defend international law and order, work to hold the Zionist occupation accountable for the overruns and violations committed, ensure international protection, and stave off attacks and violations against the Palestinian people and their sanctities.

The international community, on the other hand, should re-evaluate its relationship with the Zionist Entity, establish a commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Palestine, transcend rhetoric, deploy further efforts in defense of the Palestinians inalienable rights and bring Zionists into compliance with international law.

Palestinian leaders should put on the shelf their domestic rifts, creating a united front aimed at addressing the onus fallen on their shoulders. A favorable atmosphere should be created to address the catastrophic ordeal the Palestinians are passing through.

Finally, addressing ourselves, our collective conscience should react to concrete and permanent actions, not momentary reactions as events unfold!

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