Palestinian Christian leaders from the Bethlehem District called on Honduras to recognize the State of Palestine and support its admission to the United Nations. The message was delivered in a letter to the Honduran Foreign Minister Mario Canahuati, signed by the mayors of Bethlehem (Dr. Victor Batarseh), Beit Jala (Raji Zeidan), and Beit Sahour (Hani Hayek) as well as members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Fayez Saqqa and Fouad Kokali and the head of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Samir Hazboun.
In their letter, the Bethlehem representatives urged the Minister to support Palestine’s bid for international recognition and admission at the United Nations. “What we seek is the establishment of a free and sovereign Palestinian state as well as the consolidation of our natural and historic rights. This does not violate the rights of anyone. On the contrary, it is a great step towards peace”, they said.
The representatives also stressed that the colonization of an occupied territory “is not only illegal but also a war crime”.
The leaders briefed Mr. Canahuati on the current situation of the district of Bethlehem: “We have control over less than 14% of our district. The rest has been occupied for the expansion of illegal settlements and Israeli military bases. Hundreds of homes have been demolished and thousands of hectares have been expropriated, which directly undermines the possibility of a sovereign Palestinian state.”
“Israel has built roads on our occupied country for the exclusive use of Israelis. It has designed a system of movement restrictions that has devastated our city through several checkpoints and the illegal Israeli Wall. These restrictions have resulted in one of the saddest consequences of the occupation of our land: that for first time in 2000 years of Christianity, Bethlehem and Jerusalem are divided with an 8-meters high wall, built on confiscated land that belongs to Palestinians from Bethlehem”, the letter went on.
The Christian Palestinian leaders also reminded the Honduran Foreign Minister of the important support the Palestinian bid for recognition and UN admission now enjoys worldwide, particularly in Latin America where countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela and Costa Rica recognize the State of Palestine.
“The occupation and systematic discrimination that Israel has imposed over our people is going to fall just as the South African Apartheid did. This is an irreversible process supported by the great majority of the peoples around the world. Currently, 122 countries recognize Palestine, including nine out of the ten most populated; their combined populations account for 75% of the world’s population,” they said, adding, “It is time for the rest of the countries to take the decision to be on the right side of history. We do not expect from Honduras anything less than your recognition of the Palestinian State and the ratification of the historical Honduran vote in support of Palestine in the United Nations.”
The letter concluded by inviting the Honduran Foreign Minister along with his family to spend Christmas in Bethlehem, “the first Christmas in the State of Palestine.”
(networkedblogs.com / 11.08.2011)