PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi addressed a delegation of fifty graduate students from Georgetown University on Wednesday in Ramallah.
In her assessment of the latest international and regional political developments, Dr. Ashrawi discussed the rise of extremism and racism in Israel and the devaluation of Palestinian rights and lives by means of the Israeli military occupation. She stressed that Israeli impunity is lethal and violates the most basic tenets of international law and international humanitarian law.
In that context, Dr. Ashrawi called for multilateral engagement and the need for the international community to exhibit the political will necessary to ensure the application of international law and to undertake concrete steps with a binding timeframe and a system of arbitration and accountability to end the occupation and to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
Dr. Ashrawi’s analysis also focused on the American role in peacemaking, the flaws in the “peace process” and the strategic American-Israeli alliance that has led to the undermining of the chances for peace and the achievement of a two-state solution, as well as the ramifications of the proposed policies of the current U.S. administration.
The issue of the internal situation in Palestine was raised, and Dr. Ashrawi stressed the imperative of relegitimizing and revitalizing the political system and holding elections. She also provided a brief history of the Palestinian women’s movement and discussed the importance of supporting and enabling women’s participation in all sectors of Palestinian life.
Dr. Ashrawi concluded her presentation by stating, “The spirit of the Palestinian people will never be broken, and we will never accept to be relegated to the status of second or third-class human beings. As the generations before us, we will remain committed to achieving our freedom and rights and will persist in using non-violent means of resistance and reaching out to a network of solidarity groups and organizations.”
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi met with a delegation representing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) yesterday which included ICRC Head of Delegation in Israel and the Occupied Territories Jacques de Maio, Head of Mission at the ICRC in Jerusalem and the West Bank Cardon Christian and the Head of the ICRC office in Ramallah Suha Musleh.
The meeting focused on the latest political global, regional and domestic developments. In that context, both parties discussed the deteriorating conditions on the ground, including Israel’s flagrant violations of international law, and the challenges facing the two-state solution.