Category Archives: Press Releases

Dr. Saeb Erekat on Another Raid and Closure of a Palestinian Institution in Occupied East Jerusalem

Press Releases
March 14, 2017

We strongly condemn the illegitimate closure of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society and the illegal detention of Mr. Khalil Tufakji this morning in Occupied East Jerusalem.  Mr. Tufakji is a distinguished scholar from Jerusalem and the Director of this academic department within the previously forcibly sealed off Orient House in the heart of Occupied East Jerusalem.

Mr. Tufakji, who has served on several initiatives related to the Middle East Peace Process, was detained by Israeli occupying forces during a raid on their office in Jerusalem this morning.  Israeli occupying forces have also seized the office documents, computers, and equipment.

This provocative act by the Israeli occupying forces is a reminder of Israel’s ongoing campaign to deprive Palestinians in Occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, of any voice, of its national institutions and organizations, in an effort to erase any Palestinian presence in the city.

Israel, the occupying power, continues to violate its obligations under signed agreements, as well as of its commitments vis-à-vis the international community. More than 20 Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, including notably the Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce, remain forcibly closed by Israeli occupying orders and raids since 2001, in violation of international law.

Many United Nations resolutions and statements call upon Israel to immediately reopen all Palestinian institutions in Occupied East Jerusalem. This was established in the UNSC Resolution 476, which states, “All legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (…) and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”.

Systematic Israeli policies against a Palestinian presence in Occupied East Jerusalem aim to bury the two-state solution, consolidate Israel’s Apartheid regime in the occupied city, as well as in the rest of occupied Palestine, and aim to create a Palestinian demographic minority. This serious escalation demands the international community to urgently take concrete measures to reopen Palestinian institutions in Occupied East Jerusalem, in line with international law and UN resolutions, is overdue. In particular, we call upon the European Union to fully and immediately implement the recommendations of its Heads of Missions’ report on Jerusalem.

PRESS RELEASE – Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre (1994)

Issued by the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine in Portugal

 Tomorrow marks the most inhumane massacre perpetrated by a Jewish terrorist “Baruch Goldstein”.

On February 25 1994, a US-born Israeli military medical doctor, walked into the Ibrahimi

Mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle. It was early morning during the holy month of Ramadan, and hundreds of Palestinians were crammed inside, bowed in prayer. Baruch Goldstein, who had immigrated to Israel from North America in 1983, lived in the Kiryat Arba (settlement on the outskirts of Hebron). As worshippers kneeled, Goldstein opened fire. He reloaded his gun at least once, continuing his barrage for as long as possible before finally being overpowered and eventually beaten to death.

By the time he was stopped, 29 worshippers were killed, and more than a hundred had been injured.

The Israeli government immediately released a statement condemning the act and stating that Goldstein acted alone and was psychologically disturbed. The massacre was widely reported in the international media – and been added to dozens more of the Israeli massacres against the indigenous people of Historic Palestine “the Palestinians”. Words of condemnation came from the whole world including Israel but no action as if Israel is licensed to kill with impunity. The 29 people killed inside the mosque were not the only “martyrs” that day. Locals estimate the final number of deaths at between 50 and 70 – and an estimated 250 were injured over the course of the day. After the initial attack inside the mosque, more Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army during protests outside the mosque, outside Hebron’s Ahli hospital, and even in the local cemetery as the dead were being buried.

Some survivors of the massacre also report that they were shot by a second gunman inside the mosque, and claim that this was a planned attack of which the Israeli military was aware in advance. None here believe the official story of Goldstein acting entirely alone in a fit of madness.

No action had ever been taken, by the Israeli authorities to protect the Palestinians from the illegal Jewish settlers, to the contrary, settlers with the blessings of the Israeli army, erected a shrine for the terrorist Goldstein, inside the settlement, to become a site for pilgrimage for them and their likens.

Ambassador Ajjuri, says “Lack of action by the International Community against such Israeli crime, has encouraged Israel to perpetrate with impunity, massacres and war crimes, two massacres in Qana, Lebanon and four offensives against the Palestinians in Gaza , in the last one in 2014, Israel killed 22000 Palestinians, 517 of them were children”.

He added that for the same reason and in an utter defiance of the International law, Israeli Knesset adopted on the 6th of this month, the so-called “Regularization Bill”, a scheme being presented as “law” with the express purpose of facilitating and authorizing the expropriation, colonization and ultimate de facto annexation of Palestinian land.



Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros Palestiniano: a lei da “Regularização” cria dúvida sobre a seriedade da Comunidade Internacional na protecção da solução de dois Estados


O Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros Palestiniano condena fortemente a aprovação no Knesset da Lei que “regulariza” a situação de mais de 4000 unidades de colonatos, construídos em território palestiniano privado. Esta Lei permite às autoridades de ocupação continuar a expropriação e o roubo do que resta da terra palestiniana ocupada, utilizando meios de colonização baseados na força de ocupação e no engano da Lei. Este cenário acabará com qualquer hipótese de criar um Estado palestiniano viável e soberano. Esta Lei foi orgulhosamente descrita pelo Ministro Israelita Ofir Akunis, do Partido Likud, como “um passo importante para acabar com a solução de dois Estados”.

O Ministério confirma que esta Lei surge no contexto de uma histeria israelita crescente, para passar/elaborar/decretar mais leis expansionistas. Especialmente o projecto de Lei de controlo sobre o colonato de Ma’ale Adumim, entre outros, algo que abre caminho para um regime racista na Palestina. O Ministério acredita que o governo israelita de Benjamin Netanyahu está a aproveitar-se das condenações internacionais, que são apenas formalidades inúteis, para mudar a situação dos colonatos, e interpreta o silêncio norte-americano como uma luz verde para atacar o que resta da solução de dois Estados.

Esta decisão de aprovar uma Lei expansionista racista é o verdadeiro teste à seriedade da Comunidade Internacional no que toca a  aplicar a Lei Internacional na Palestina e proteger a solução de dois Estados e a paz justa.

O Ministério exige ao Concelho da Segurança das Nações Unidas que defenda as suas resoluções sobre os colonatos, especialmente a resolução 2334, e convida a administração norte-americana a apressar a sua tomada de posição sobre esta escalada israelita perigosa que acaba com todos os esforços internacionais de reanimar o processo de paz, destrói qualquer possibilidade de chegar a uma solução política através das negociações e abre a porta ao extremismo e à violência na zona.

Dr. Ashrawi: This signals the final demise of the two-state solution

the strongest terms, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s approval of more than 3,000 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank; this decision comes just one week after Netanyahu and Lieberman authorized 2,500 units in the Occupied West Bank and the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee approved the permits for more than 550 units in Occupied East Jerusalem:

“Such a frenzied escalation of Israel’s illegal enterprise signals the final demise of the two-state solution.  The silence of the new American government, including those who actively support the settlements in the White House and the administration as a whole, has emboldened Netanyahu to persist with his settlement activities.  All settlements are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and constitute a direct violation of international law and conventions, including UNSC resolution 2334.  It it evident that Netanyahu and his racist coalition government are carrying out such dangerous and disastrous measures in collusion with the most extreme settler elements to displace Palestine and replace it with “Greater Israel.” 

The enormity and severity of the situation should send a strong message to the international community, including the United States and the European Union, to intervene immediately and bring about an end to all settlement activities and Israel’s illegal unilateralism.  We also call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to ensure respect for Security Council resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334, and to make certain that Israel complies with them.  Without a territorially viable and contiguous Palestinian state, there will be no peace or stability and the entire region will explode and plunge into grave violence and chaos.”

Dr. Ashrawi on the approval of 2,500 illegal settlements units in the Occupied West Bank

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s approval of 2,500 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank; this decision was made just two day after the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee approved the permits for more than 550 units in Occupied East Jerusalem:

 “Once again, the Israeli government has proved that it is more committed to land theft and colonialism than to the two-state solution and the requirements for peace and stability.  Such a deliberate escalation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise constitutes a war crime and the flagrant violation of international law and conventions, in particular UN Security Council resolution 2334. 

 It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state. Therefore, we urge the US and the rest of the international community to undertake serious and concrete measures to bring about a full cessation of all settlement activities and to hold Israel to account for these disastrous plans with punitive measures and sanctions before it completes the destruction of the territorial and demographic contiguity of the West Bank.”

We welcome the statement by the Paris Middle East Peace Conference and call upon France to recognize the State of Palestine

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat:

We welcome the statement by the Paris Middle East Peace Conference and call upon France to recognize the State of Palestine.


We welcome today’s Statement by the Paris Peace Conference, which stressed the need to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 as per international law and international legitimacy resolutions; including the recent Security Council Resolution 2334.

We appreciate the participation of each and every country and their commitment to the right of our people to establish our independent sovereign state to live side-by-side in peace and security alongside Israel.  They have again created a momentum in rejection to the Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise on the land of Palestine. It’s a message to Israel, the occupying power, to abide by international law and international humanitarian law and to end its military occupation of Palestine towards the achievement of peace and stability in the region and the world. It is time to stop dealing with Israel as a country above the law and to hold it accountable for its systematic violations of international law and the rights of our people.

We call upon France to immediately recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We also call upon all participating countries in today’s conference, including European countries and the United States of America, which all have continuously supported the importance of the two-state solution as the only viable solution, to recognize Palestine in line with their recognition of Israel and their strong position to preserve the two-state solution.

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on latest Israeli steps regarding illegal settlements in Occupied Palestine

All Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine are illegal regardless of any law passed by the Israeli parliament or any decision of an Israeli judge.

Israel has a long history of attempts to “legalize” war crimes. This latest step shows the extremist Israeli government’s confidence that the international community will not act.  This culture of impunity continues to destroy the prospects to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

We call upon all states of the United Nations, particularly Security Council members, to support a forthcoming resolution on settlements. Additionally, we will provide the International Criminal Court with information about this and other steps taken by the Israeli government relevant to its Prosecutor’s current examination into the situation in Occupied Palestine, including in and around Occupied East Jerusalem.


The Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe)


Issued by the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine in Portugal


On the Occasion of the Palestinian Nakba day, Dr. Hikmat Ajjuri, the Palestinian Ambassador to Portugal says: “On Sunday, May 15, we mourn the Day when Palestine was murdered to the birth of the State of Israel. A day that is very sad to the Palestinians in which the Zionist forces committed 33 massacres and destroyed 450 Palestinian towns and in which 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.”


Ambassador Ajjuri Added: “The Israelis succeeded in wiping off our villages but failed to do so with our memory.”


Dr. Ajjuri continued: “The only assurance that both the Palestinian Nakba and the Jewish holocaust will become frozen moments in history is by granting the Palestinians their inalienable right to celebrate their independence as their Israeli neighbours do”.


Annually and for the past 68 years, the Palestinians commemorate, the 15th of May, the most calamitous day in their contemporary history. Thus, every year when the Israelis celebrate the achievement of their statehood, the Palestinians mourn the Nakba (catastrophe), the great historical calamity that saw the sinews of their society shredded, their towns and villages invaded, their cities sacked and depopulated, their people – the rightful owners of the land – uprooted, evicted and scattered across the Arab world.


In 1948, the Jewish Zionists widened their territorial control on every front and in the end commanded 78%, instead of the 56% allotted to them by the United Nations’ partition plan of historic Palestine. In the same short period approximately 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes, many forcibly, at the hands of Zionist gangs and thus found themselves until this date, homeless and stateless refugees. As part of the Zionist organized ethnic cleansing campaign, more than 450 of the Palestinian villages were wiped off the face of earth purposefully to make way for an expanded Jewish state in historic Palestine, by the aforementioned gangs.   Most Israeli and Palestinian historians, of them the Jewish historian Illan Pappe, now agree, that the Zionist gangs conducted a concerned campaign of terror and atrocities including massacres. In spite of those Zionists’ inhumane practices, the Palestinians have miraculously recovered from them. They were intended to ethnic cleanse the Palestinians and to forcibly expel them in order to uproot them and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and history. In those dark days the Palestinian people had looked to the United Nations organization as a beacon of hope and appealed for ending the injustice and for achieving justice and peace.

On the 29th 0f November 2012, and after 65 years of misery, 138 countries decided to take a stand in support of peace, justice, morality and human decency by voting in favour of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the UNGA.

In this regard the Palestinians, and regardless of their continued suffering until today at the hands of the Zionist Israeli occupiers, are obliged to say that they are indebted to Portugal along with another 137 countries which have rescued the chances of peace by rescuing the two state solution.

Comunicado de Imprensa

Emitido pela Missão Diplomática da Palestina, por ocasião do Dia da Nakba

Por ocasião do dia da Nakba Palestiniana, O Embaixador da Palestina, Dr. Hikmat Ajjuri, declara: “No Domingo, dia 15 de Maio, estaremos de luto, marcando o dia em que a Palestina foi assassinada, para nascer, no seu lugar, o Estado de Israel. É, como devem imaginar, um dia muito triste para os palestinianos. Em 1948, as forças sionistas cometeram mais de 33 massacres, destruíram mais de 450 cidades e vilas palestinianas e expulsaram cerca de 750.000 palestinianos das suas casas.”

O Embaixador Ajjuri acrescenta: “Os israelitas conseguiram apagar as nossas vilas, mas nunca conseguirão apagar a nossa memória.” E diz: “A única garantia de que a catástrofe palestiniana se tornará um momento congelado na história, tal como o holocausto judeu, será através do alcance de uma paz baseada na justiça, no respeito mútuo, através da garantia dos direitos inalienáveis de autodeterminação aos palestinianos, e na celebração da sua independência, tal como os seus vizinhos israelitas.”

Anualmente e durante os últimos 68 anos, os palestinianos marcam o dia 15 de Maio como o dia mais triste da sua história contemporânea. Em 1948, os judeus sionistas espalharam o seu controlo territorial em todas as frentes, acabando por conquistar 78% do território, em vez dos 56% que lhes foram atribuídos pelo plano da ONU de partilha da Palestina histórica. Neste mesmo curto período de tempo, aproximadamente 750,000 mil palestinianos foram expulsos das suas casas à força pelas mãos de gangues sionistas. Estas pessoas encontram-se, até a data de hoje, refugiadas, sem teto nem estado. Os gangues sionistas aniquilaram mais de 450 vilas palestinianas da face da terra, propositadamente para abrir caminho a um Estado Judeu expandido na Palestina histórica. A maioria dos historiadores palestinianos e israelitas – como o historiador judeu Ilan Pappe – já provaram que os gangues sionistas realizaram uma campanha de terror e atrocidades, incluindo massacres contra a população indígena da Palestina.

Apesar das práticas desumanas sionistas, os palestinianos conseguiram, milagrosamente, recuperar. Estas práticas foram executadas com os objectivos de limpeza étnica dos palestinianos e de expulsão à força dos seus territórios, a fim de arrancar e apagar a sua presença, que está enraizada nas profundezas da sua terra e na sua história. Nos dias mais difíceis, o povo palestiniano dirigiu-se à organização das Nações Unidas, vista como um farol de esperança, e apelou para que se acabasse com a injustiça e para que se alcançasse a justiça e a paz.

No dia 29 de Novembro de 2012, após 65 anos de miséria, 138 países decidiram tomar uma posição em defesa da paz, justiça, moralidade e decência humana, votando a favor da Palestina como um Estado observador não membro na Assembleia Geral da ONU.

A este respeito os palestinianos, independentemente do seu sofrimento continuado até hoje nas mãos dos ocupantes israelitas sionistas, estão em dívida com Portugal e com outros 137 países, que salvaram a possibilidade de paz ao resgatar a solução de dois Estados.

PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on the latest wave of Palestinian homes demolished by Israel

Each and every crime Israel commits in violation of our rights are documented, reported, and presented to the relevant international bodies, including the International Criminal Court

 Over the past 24 hours, seven Palestinian homes have been demolished in Occupied East Jerusalem, Surif, Qabatia and Duma by the Israeli Occupying Forces. This is another act of collective punishment committed by Israel against the Palestinian civilian population in violation of international law and Israel’s obligations as the belligerent occupying power. 

 Each and every crime Israel commits in violation of our rights are documented, reported, and presented to the relevant international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Granting impunity for continued and systematic Israeli crimes will not achieve a resumption of negotiations, rather, it is killing any realistic political horizon to end the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine. 

 A few days ago, the Human Rights Council voted a resolution on Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” Although it passed with resounding approval, countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Latvia, India, Netherlands and Paraguay, among others, opted to abstain. We call upon those countries to review their positions.  Allowing Israel to act as a state above the law only perpetuates Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and ensures the destruction of the two-state solution.

 Between September 13th 2015 and April 4th 2016, Israeli Occupation Forces have demolished 157 houses in occupied Palestine.

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on the attack against Ibrahim Dawabsheh’ Home in Duma this morning

The people of Duma are reeling this morning following the latest terrorist attack against Duma resident, Ibrahim Dawabsheh, the sole surviving witness of last July’s terrorist attack which left three members of the Dawabsheh family dead as a result of arson, including 18-month-old Ali. 

Ibrahim Dawabsheh and his wife were rushed to a hospital in Nablus following smoke inhalation as a result of their home being lit on fire in the early morning hours on Sunday.

We hold the Israeli Government fully responsible for the crimes in Duma. Israel has yet to convict those responsible for the murders of Saad, Reham, and Ali Dawabsheh, instead choosing to send violent murderers back to the illegal settlements where they live, and place them under house arrest. This has become common practice by the Israeli government, as was the case in the 2014 gruesome murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose murderers were held under house arrest or in a mental facility, with little or no security supervision.

Israel’s disregard for the gravity of these atrocious crimes reflects both the Israeli culture of impunity and the international community’s free license granted to Israel to systematically disregard international law.  The Israeli prolonged belligerent occupation, colonization, and transfer 650,000 Israeli citizens into the occupied State of Palestine is part of a comprehensive system of continued oppression and subjugation perpetuated by the international community.

While we wait for another sham investigation to determine the source of this morning’s attack on another civilian family in Duma, we invite the international community to ensure that Israel upholds its obligations as the occupying power to provide security and protection for the Palestinian civilian population it occupies. We reiterate our calls for international protection and an immediate international intervention in order to end the Israeli occupation and achieve the long overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.