The head of the Palestinian delegation in Australia, the de facto Palestine ambassador to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, has spoken about the need to recognize Palestinian sovereignty and status as a state. He said this as the Australian Labor Party prepares for its national conference in Brisbane. Abdulhadi expressed the Labor Party’s swelling support at the grassroots for Palestine’s statehood.
While speaking to a group of Palestinians in Australia, Abdulhadi referenced the activities of the Israeli state in a refugee camp situated in the city of Jenin, Palestine, which he described as an important reason why the call for a Palestine state should be taken seriously among the comity of nations. He defined the actions of Israeli forces at the camp as “brutal” and called for urgent action to be taken as Palestine may soon have no land to establish a state.
The city of Jenin had faced incessant attacks. In recent times, the Israel Defense Forces embarked on an operation in Jenin. The operations led to the deaths of a number of people and the displacement of thousands. It also left critical infrastructure in the city in ruins.
Abdulhadi has remained a strong voice for the Palestine state in Australia, which has encouraged the government of Australia to condemn Israel’s “brutal assault and collective punishment against the Palestinian people.”
“Australia recognizing the state of Palestine would send a powerful message that Australia does not condone Israel’s gross human rights violations,” He said.
The Australian Labor Party has variously called for the creation of a Palestinian state by backing a resolution to support “the recognition and right of Israel and Palestine to exist as two states within secure and recognized borders.”
The party called on its members to support the call for the next Labor Party government to ensure the Australian government’s recognition of the Palestinian state.
Speaking on the call for support by the Labor Party-led government, Abdulhadi said, “I hope that Foreign Minister Penny Wong in particular and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese have the leadership to actually support and endorse the recognition of Palestine in this term.”
Recently, the Australian government, through Wong, said that the continuous occupation of the West Bank does not encourage peace. He described it as “an obstacle to peace.”
However, Abdulhadi believes that Wong’s condemnation of the Israelis provocative actions in the West Bank isn’t enough. He expressed his resentment by citing the handover of the approval of the settlement to Bezalel Smotrich, an Israeli Finance Minister from the recalcitrant far-right whose stance against Palestine portends great danger.
Smotrich came to the fore as a strong advocate against Palestine’s existence when he called for the total wipe-out of Huwara, located in the northern West Bank, around the Nablus Governorate of the State of Palestine.
The government of Australia, speaking through Tim Watts, the assistant foreign minister, has made statements saying that it is deeply concerned about the events in Jenin as well as the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine. It then urged them to embrace peace by putting an end to the unending wave of retaliatory violence.