The year 2022 was the deadliest year for the Palestinians in the past seven years.
The Palestinian envoy said in Ankara on Tuesday that the past year was the deadliest for the Palestinians in seven years, with 230 people killed. He warned that the escalation is expected to continue in 2023, as 13 Palestinians, including three children, have already been killed since the beginning of January.
In a press conference titled “2023: The Year of Great Challenges Facing the United Arab Emirates,” Ambassador Faid Mustafa said that the year 2022 was not a year of cold and peace, but rather a hot and bloody year in which the suffering of our people and our nation increased. Palestine Under Israel’s Far-Right Government”.
He said 171 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank last year and 59 in the besieged Gaza Strip, which constitutes “the highest death toll in seven years”.
He added that the Israeli army and settlers injured 9,353 Palestinians, while more than 6,500 were arrested, of whom about 5,000 are still languishing in Israeli prisons.
He explained that more than 830 homes and other facilities were demolished, more than 13,000 olive trees were destroyed and uprooted, and more than 13,000 settlement units were built in the West Bank.
The Palestinian diplomat said that more than 262 incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque were carried out by about 48,000 extremists, who were protected by Israeli forces.
The new ‘most extreme’ Israeli government
Mustafa warned that the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “the most extreme” and has “a fascist and racist ideology.”
He pointed out that in the few days of 2023, 13 Palestinians have already been killed, including three children.
“It will be a bloody year, as we have seen in such a short period of time,” he added.
Mustafa said that the Israeli government continues to “detain the bodies of 118 martyrs” and has buried more than 256 martyrs, refusing to hand them over to their families.
He condemned far-right Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, criticizing him for turning the holy site into an “arena for religious conflict”.
Mustafa said the new Israeli government has also begun to expand illegal settlements.
“We direct our message to our partners in the international community. It is not enough to denounce and condemn the Israeli government,” he said, calling for “resolutions that help end the injustice against the Palestinians.”
Internal divisions in Israel
Citing recent statements by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, the Palestinian ambassador said the new right-wing government led by Netanyahu is creating “severe divisions” in Israeli society.
Mustafa said that Netanyahu had to “get rid of the corruption cases against him” and “he had no way out but to return as prime minister by relying on these parties.”
“They are blackmailing Netanyahu,” he said.
He said that Netanyahu is trying to “control the judiciary through amendments” that undermine its “impartiality” and make it subordinate to the government, steps some have described as an “internal coup.”
Mostafa urged governments and states to reconsider their “quest to improve relations with an entity ruled by racists and fascists.”