Zim stands in solidarity with Palestine Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Kindness Paradza (left) chats with Palestine’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tamer Almassri during the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Memory Mangombe

Ivan Zhakata

Herald Correspondent

ZIMBABWE stands in solidarity with the people of the State of Palestine as the two countries continue to cement their bilateral relations, Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Kindness Paradza has said.

Speaking at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People commemorations in Harare yesterday, Deputy Minister Paradza said Zimbabwe and Palestine shared the same history of oppression and colonialism.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian is observed annually on November 29 to educate the public on the question of Palestine and support a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are in solidarity with you (Palestine) and we stand with the people of Palestine in your struggles,” said Deputy Minister Paradza. “We share the same history of oppression and also the history of colonialism to some extent. We fought in the trenches together.

“President Yasser Arafat and our former President Cde Robert Mugabe were good friends and also your predecessors who were here worked so hard to improve the relations between the State of Palestine and Zimbabwe. 

“As we observe your day, which is also recognised by the United Nations, we heard the message from the United Nations secretary-general, we share the same feelings and Zimbabwe will support the two-state solution, Israel on its own and Palestine on its own.” 

Deputy Minister Paradza said as a Ministry they condemned the recent killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was assassinated by the Israeli army.

“As government and as a Ministry we condemn that but as we said we support you Palestine and we want us to work together to improve our bilateral relations,” he said. “We condemn, as Zimbabwe what is happening in Palestine, the atrocities which are being perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli army.” 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr David Musabayana said the relationship between Zimbabwe and Palestine was inseparable.

“Zimbabwe and Palestine are friends,” he said. “We are long-time friends and we have been friends for decades because of a common understanding, ideology and principles that we share. Today (yesterday) we are honoured to be part of this delegation.” 

Palestinian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tamer Almassri said the day reminded the world that there were daily victims in Palestine.

“This day is a reminder to the international community that the Palestinian people were paying the cost of the unfortunate absence of justice on Palestine,” he said.

“We pay the cost because the United Nations imposed a resolution that created Israel in our own land but they did not apply the second part of the resolution to establish the Palestinian State. 

“Our struggle is continuous until we achieve independence and end the Israeli apartheid occupation.

“This day is very important as it sends a message to the international community and to the UN to stop dealing with Israel as a super power. Israel should be treated as a normal country and it should be punished for its crimes, aggressions and apartheid regime that was built in Palestine in the 21st century.”

In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Edward Kallon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, UN secretary general Mr Antonio Guterres said he was deeply saddened by the growing number of Palestinian civilians were losing their lives in the spiral of violence engulfing the occupied West Bank.

“The long-standing drivers of conflict including the ongoing occupation, settlement expansion, home demolitions and evictions heighten anger, despair, and hopelessness,” he said.

“Gaza continues to endure debilitating closures and humanitarian crises. I reiterate my call on the parties to engage to end the closures of Gaza and improve living conditions of all Palestinians. The United Nations’ position is clear, peace must advance, the occupation must end.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. Together, let us reaffirm our support to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security, and dignity for all.”

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