Ahed Tamimi praises Egypt’s support of Palestinian cause



Mon, 30 Jul 2018 - 05:00 GMT


Mon, 30 Jul 2018 - 05:00 GMT

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi speaks during a news conference after she was released from an Israeli prison, in Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi speaks during a news conference after she was released from an Israeli prison, in Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

CAIRO - 30 July 2018: Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi hailed Egypt's support of reconciliation between Palestine's major factions: Fatah and Hamas, expressing her hope that Egyptian efforts bear fruit and end the internal division so that the Palestinian people can devote themselves to their main cause of liberating Palestine.

Tamimi told Egypt Today that the Palestinian leaders should develop a plan for the liberation of the Palestinian territories, calling for more attention to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, warning "if the current leaders failed to unite, the Palestinian people will search for alternative leaders."

Tamimi expressed her appreciation to the people of the Gaza Strip for their steadfastness and their continuation in countering the Israeli siege, asserting that "our voice has reached out to the world and we must continue our media campaigns to support the rest of the prisoners."

The 17-year-old Palestinian was released Sunday from an Israeli prison.

In March, she was sentenced to serve eight months in jail after a viral video showed her hitting two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

Tamimi was arrested four months ago after appearing in the video along with her mother and cousin, slapping two Israeli soldiers outside their home in the village of Nabi Saleh, the West Bank.

The soldiers had taken up positions next to the house amid protests in the village against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian activist close to the Tamimi family and Ahed’s mother, Nariman, confirmed to AFP that the request for a public trial had been rejected.

Tamimi’s trial began last month as she faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault.

The incident prompted criticism from right-wing Israelis that the military looked weak by allowing the teenager to strike a soldier and an officer with impunity, Reuters reported.

The case drew global attention. Amnesty International called Tamimi the "Rosa Parks of Palestine", and the small courtroom was often packed with journalists, diplomats and international observers during hearings, where Tamimi was led into court in shackles.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated on Sunday, during the sixth National Youth Conference held in Cairo University, that Egypt supports efforts to resume the peace process between Palestine and Israel in establishing the two-state solution.

Sisi referred to importance of forming a new status-quo that would restore stability in the Middle East.

He stressed the need for reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the return of the Palestinian Authority to govern the Gaza strip, which would revive negotiations between Palestine and Israel.

"Gaza is not exclusive to Hamas. It has Palestinian people who want to live," Sisi said addressing the Israeli public opinion reiterating that "there is a great opportunity to achieve peace."

"We support the establishment of the Palestinian state having East Jerusalem as its capital," Sisi announced.

A high-level Fatah delegation arrived on Sunday in Cairo to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation with Egyptian officials.

Munir al-Jaghoub, head of Fatah's Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, said that the delegation includes Head of Palestinian General Intelligence Service Major General Majid Faraj and members of Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad, Husein Al-Sheikh and Rawhi Fattouh.

Al-Jaghoub remarked that the delegation will head to Cairo upon the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the ways to deliver the perception of the Palestinian leadership, the current situation in Palestine and the file of reconciliation.

Abbas previously referred during the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization held on Saturday that Egypt has sent an idea to tackle Palestinian reconciliation; hence, a delegation will head to Egypt on Sunday for this regard.

“We are committed to the Palestinian stance taken on Oct. 21, 2017,” said Abbas.

The visit coincides with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s meeting, which will be held with Egyptian officials on the Palestinian situation particularly in Gaza.

Previously, a Hamas delegation, headed by Khalil al-Hayya, visited Cairo on July 11 at the invitation of Egyptian intelligence to discuss the reconciliation as well as the situation in Gaza, during which Egypt has handed over several proposals to advance the stagnant process with Fatah.

Hence, Head of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian Hamas movement Ismail Haniyeh announced on July 19 that the group has accepted an Egyptian proposal for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov spoke to Egypt Today in an exclusive interview about Palestinian rival factions’ reconciliation, Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the two-state solution and the “deal of century”.

Mladenov affirmed in his statements that Cairo government has always been, and still is, a vital and key player amid the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, adding that Rafah border crossing, which Egypt opens regularly to ease people’s suffering in Gaza, is a “lifeline” for Palestinians.

He added that the United Nations is doing its best to back Egypt’s efforts to reach complete reconciliation among Palestinian factions. He affirmed that Egypt has done a lot already to reach stability and decrease violence.

Egypt has been backing the Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas for a long time.

The reconciliation efforts under Egypt’s auspices officially began in October, when Egypt succeeded to hold a historic meeting between leaders of Fatah and Hamas, turning over the ten-year-old dispute for the sake of a new era of consensus, as the two parties reactivated the Cairo Agreement signed in 2011.

Removing the disagreements and finding common ground has always been Egypt's goal,enabling it to keep the negotiations open. Egyptian leaders have reiterated on various occasions that the unity between Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions is a must for serious negotiations with Israel over an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders whose capital city is East Jerusalem.

For their part, the Palestinian factions have insisted on giving Egypt the leading role in running the mediation between them. They believe Egypt has no hidden ambitions, unlike other regional powers that seek benefits from Palestinian territory.

Cairo has played a key role in the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas. In October 2017, a reconciliation agreement was signed in Cairo between both parties. A high-profile Egyptian delegation has been visiting Gaza frequently during the past period to meet with all parties in order to ease any tensions that may prevent the reconciliation agreement from being fully-implemented.

On Feb. 25, the delegation started one of its longest visits, which lasted until March 8. During the visit, the delegation met with several Palestinian leaders from all parties and factions.

The list of separate meetings included meetings with Palestinian Minister of Transportation SamehTubeila, Palestinian Minister of Culture Ihab Bseiso, head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, a number of tribal heads in Gaza, and several members of the Palestinian unity government, according to Palestinian media outlets.

Earlier, on Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Backing Trump’s move, Guatemala, Honduras and Romania also announced their willingness to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

On April 3, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received Egyptian Intelligence Service Chief Abbas Kamel and his accompanying delegation at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

The Egyptian delegation was on mission to deliver an important message from President Sisi to his Palestinian counterpart. For his part, Abbas stressed the depth of relations between the Egyptian and Palestinian leadership and people, and the Palestinian leadership's keenness to boost relations in the framework of the mutual interest of the two brotherly peoples.

During the meeting, they discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and the Egyptian efforts exerted to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

On September 17, 2017, Hamas announced the dissolution of its administrative committee in the Gaza Strip, inviting the Government of National Reconciliation to assume its duties and hold general elections. The movement affirmed it would comply with the Social Reconciliation Accord signed in 2011.

President Abbas said in statements to media outlets that there is no country as vital to the Palestinian cause as Egypt due to its historical and political position in the region. “Egypt has an opinion, a position and an interest in the Palestinian cause,” said Abbas.



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