Arab League chief calls on Japan to recognize Palestinian state

TOKYO: Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has called on Japan to recognize a Palestinian state.

He told a news conference in Tokyo: “This is the only solution; Israel’s apartheid, annexation and oppression are not feasible solutions.”

Aboul Gheit spoke at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, where he will attend the 5th Japan-Arab Economic Forum.

He said the Israeli occupation, oppression and persecution of Palestinians and Arabs since 1967 led Hamas to attack Israel on October 7.

“Israel has the urge and desire to suppress Palestinian hopes for independence,” he added. “We, however, call for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Aboul Gheit said the Palestinian Authority is the recognized governing entity of the Palestinian people and it is “natural” for the authority to return to Gaza with the help of the international community.

Two requirements were needed to achieve this: “An international military force to help the PA take control of Gaza and an international consortium to help rebuild the horrific destruction in Gaza.”

The head of the Arab League reminded the audience that millions of Palestinians live in tents without sanitation, running water and daily necessities. “The PA should rule Gaza,” he said, adding that Hamas’s position had changed because of the conflict in the enclave.

“Hamas itself came to the conclusion that the military confrontation was harming the Palestinian population, so it had to try to change its ideology,” Aboul Gheit said. “Europe and the Western world had to prevail over Israel. Hamas was helped by Israel to divide the Palestinians. They’ve succeeded so far.”

All Israel will achieve through its war is killing, he said, adding that Hamas will try to regain its position. “We need a political course to reconcile the differences between Hamas and the PA and between both of them and Israel.”

Aboul Gheit also noted that resistance is praised in some cases and condemned in others.

“When you resist the Nazi occupation in Europe, like in France, Denmark and Norway, it is resistance and they are freedom fighters, but in Palestine and Africa, it is terrorism. We need a name for it.”

Aboul Gheit warned that Israeli extremists want to expel Palestinians from their lands and populate the territories with settlers from Israel and the rest of the world.

“That will never happen,” he said. “On the contrary, the idea of ​​a Palestinian state is gaining strength, and many European countries have recognized a Palestinian state. The Western world has finally had a change of heart.”

Now he wants Japan, which he describes as “a very honorable and respected country,” to also have a change of heart and recognize a Palestinian state.

This article originally appeared on Arab News Japan

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