November 2, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10929

Palestinian Ambassador To New Delhi: 'Palestinians Will Choose Death Over Becoming Refugees'; 'Israel Is Not Ready For An End To The Conflict And Will Continue Its Bombardment As It Is Being Supported By The U.S. And The U.K.'

November 2, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10929

In an interview, Palestinian ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija has accused Israel of the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, also saying that Palestinians will not repeat the mistakes of 1948 and 1967.

Interviewed by journalist Kallol Bhattacherjee of The Hindu, a liberal Indian newspaper, the Palestinian ambassador thanked the Indian government for sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. India has sent nearly 6.5 tons of medical aid and 32 tons of disaster relief material for Gaza.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed a strong support for Israel, while the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi recently refrained from calling Hamas a terror organization and urged "the resumption of direct negotiations toward establishing a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel."[1]

Following are excerpted paragraphs from Ambassador Adnan Abu Al Haija's interview:[2]

"Palestinians will choose death over becoming refugees in other countries despite the threat of Israeli bombing..."

"Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have not achieved any military objective by carrying out bombing raids over the Gaza Strip as no major leader of Hamas has been harmed in these attacks..."

"No big Hamas leader has been harmed and the only aim of Israel is to kill as many civilians as they can. They are killing Palestinian women and children as they are supported by the criminals of the Western world."

"Whatever may be the condition, we will not repeat the mistakes of 1967 and 1948 when Palestinians left home under Israeli attack. We will die if they carry out massacres but will not leave home this time. The remarks of the Jordanian king have already made it clear that the solution will not come by the removal of our population from home..."

"Israel is not ready for an end to the conflict and will continue its bombardment as it is being supported by the U.S. and the U.K. The only good Palestinian for Prime Minister Netanyahu is a dead Palestinian and left to Israel there will be no end of this conflict. If he has to kill all Palestinians, he will do that as well. This is the Israeli apartheid, criminal mindset. I call upon India and other countries to call for an immediate ceasefire so that Israel's actions can be stopped...."

"You can imagine 2.2 million people are without food, medicine, water and oxygen for 20 days. Gaza has 35 hospitals in all and they have run out of fuel that is necessary to run the facilities...."

"We thank India for sending humanitarian assistance. India took the initiative to send us assistance even though we had not asked for it. We are deeply thankful for the gesture. But there are thousands of tonnes of goods waiting in Egypt but till now only one hundred trucks have been able to enter Gaza as there is a shortage of truck fuel since that has to be supplied for the generators of hospitals...."

"[T]he West has been silent despite witnessing the destruction that Gaza has been subjected to over the last 20 days arguing that the West has lost the moral authority to talk about killings, be it in Ukraine or elsewhere."

"The Western attitude to Israel reminds me as if the Israeli blood is blue and we Palestinians have dirty water in our veins. But the West should remember that without ensuring rights and peace for the Palestinian people, there will not be any peace in the West Asian region..."

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