PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with a visiting delegation from the Foundation for Middle East Peace, which included its president Matthew Duss and members of its board of directors, Ambassador (ret.) Richard W. Murphy, Joseph Englehardt, Michael Van Dusen, and Edison W. Dick.
Both parties discussed the latest Palestinian political developments and Israel’s continued violations on the ground, including the willful and rapid escalation of its illegal settlements and the persistent theft of Palestinian land and resources in Jerusalem and in Area C.
Dr. Ashrawi expressed serious concern regarding the new American administration’s declarations on Jerusalem and the illegal settlements: “Such pronouncements are inconsistent with the requirements for peace and stability and jeopardize US standing in the region and beyond.”
The discussion also included domestic realities in Palestine and the need for reconciliation and elections. The role of organizations and solidarity groups in the US was seen as gaining additional importance in view of the elections outcome and the need for vocal voices to defend Palestinian rights and prevent the final demise of the two-state solution.
Dr. Ashrawi answered questions on future Palestinian moves in the international arena, the withholding of US aid to the Palestinians, the importance of non-violent resistance and the BDS movement, the causes for unemployment and economic challenges in Palestine, the illegal siege on Gaza and its people, and the role of public opinion in Palestine.