SPEAKING WITH WALID IBRAHIM MUAQQAT

(Read in Spanish) One of the first things you learn in conflict resolution is that you need to listen to all parties involved. Since I’m interested and passionate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I thought it would be a good idea to meet with the Palestinian ambassador to Peru.

My interview with the ambassador has left me with several questions in different fields, after an hour of deep conversation, I need to conduct some interviews with my professors of International Law and History of the Middle East at the Tel Aviv university to confirm some information.

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The ambassador

Political Movement of Hamas

“We, the Palestinian Authority, do not agree with the politic/tactics of Hamas, we are not okay with it, but we do agree with their right to fight against Israel, we do”, says the ambassador while we have an educational exchange of ideas about how to define terrorism.

He thinks that all the actions taken by the Israeli government against the Palestinian population are defined as state terrorism, while the different activities orchestrated by Hamas are only a defence mechanism against occupation and oppression.

“Any state under occupation has the right to fight will all possible means against the occupant, the territory of Gaza, according to the UN, is still under Israeli occupation because they keep controlling everything, even food” claims the ambassador, the source for this seems to be Chapter 8, Article 51 of the UN Charter – go ahead, read it and interprete it as you wish.

To give Hamas the benefit of doubt and its good intentions on defending the Palestinian territory I asked the ambassador why were they not invited to be part of their army. His answer was simple: they do not have an army, under the Oslo Accord, they have Palestinian Security Services, and they do not have the same goal.

Is peace a possibility?

The 2 States theory has been a thing for a long time, but as any agreement, the terms and conditions can be hard to achieve. Walid says that the PA is ready to sign peace for only 22% of where they are now, they only want for Israel to stop controlling them.

According to the 181 UN Resolution, 55% of the territory was for the Jews, 44% for the Palestinians and 1% (Jerusalem) under international authority. Palestine claims they will be happy with only half the UN gave them. Quite interesting, right?

By last, nowadays no Jew can get into Palestinian territory, or Arab in general, without risking his life. The ambassador confirms that the Jews safety in Arab territories will be secured, once peace is achieved.

Palestine politics

Last time Palestine held elections was in 2006, giving the feeling that democracy is not their habit. When I ask the ambassador why would they not call for new elections he explained me that they cannot be hold until Gaza stops being under Hamas control, that is what their constitution says. Everyone votes, or no one does.

Another subject that I thought important to ask, as a woman and explorer that I am, is the insecurity for my gender in Palestinian territory. In his own words his answers was “no female foreigner has been attack, check the statistics”, and when I asked the same about female Palestine his answer was even more interesting, “it is just like in any other country”. No exactly the answer one would expect.

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Entrance to the embassy

It is really hard to keep an unbiased position in a conflict situation, I am still in this beautiful process of learning more, understanding things better, listening as many people as possible about this subject. I am convinced I do not know it all yet, but thanks to the ambassador Walid and others, I am shaping not only a well informed opinion, but a first hand one. My only advice: you should do the same.

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