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Queen Rania urges int'l community to pressure Israel to end Gaza war, support Just solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict

By JT - May 03,2024 - Last updated at May 03,2024

Her Majesty Queen Rania, in n an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid in New York on Thursday, calls on the international community to exercise pressure on Israel to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and to cease its violations against Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Photo courtesy of Office of Her Majesty)

New York - Her Majesty Queen Rania has called on the international community to put urgent pressure on Israel to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and to cease its violations against Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 “When you adopt starvation as a weapon of war that is collective punishment; that is a war crime. When you displace an entire population, that is a war crime,” Her Majesty said. “It's very clear that Israel has no problem targeting civilians, and that they assign very little value to Palestinian life," according to a statement from Office of Her Majesty. 

In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid in New York on Thursday on her show ‘The ReidOut,’ Queen Rania explained that people in the Arab World and beyond have been “devastated” by the unprecedented human toll of Israel’s war on Gaza, noting that 35,000 Palestinians, 70% of whom are women and children, have been killed, and 1.7 million people have been displaced.

 “As traumatic and devastating as the events of October 7th had been, we can't justify the way that this war is being fought. This is not a normal war. Humanitarian workers who have seen everything have said they've never seen anything like it,” Queen Rania said. “Just to put it in perspective, this war has killed more children in five months than all the conflicts in the world in the past four years.” 

Commenting on the January ruling of the International Court of Justice, which deemed it plausible that Israel is committing acts of genocide against the Palestinians, the Queen noted thatit might take years for the Court to issue its final ruling.

 “We cannot wait. People are being killed today. History is being written today. We're already very late, and the longer we wait, the larger the stain on our global consciousness,” she said.“The fact that we're even debating that should be sending shockwaves in our international community.Who wants to err on the side of a genocide?” 

Her Majesty also highlighted the “dangerous precedent” of the unequal application of international humanitarian law and the subsequent “sense of impunity” among Israeli officials, the statement said.  

 “When international law is broken with no consequence, when UN resolutions are ignored or dismissed, what does it mean? What does it mean when international humanitarian law is applied selectively? Or when certain countries are punished for poor human rights records, while Israel, which is accused of possibly committing genocide is rewarded with more arms? Where's the fairness here?” 

The Queen went on to note that it can be very difficult for others wrap their head around the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation, and having every aspect of their lives policed and controlled. 

”It's about night raids, military incursions, lands being confiscated, children being taken from their beds in the middle of the night…” she said. “Israel is the only country that that prosecutes children in military courts.And then they are subjected to a lot of abuse in the prison system, where they are held under solitary confinement, strip searches, beatings of course, deprived of their medicine, hardly fed... This is the reality of Palestinians.”

The Queen explained that, alongside its war against Gaza, Israel has been taking punitive measures against Palestinians in the West Bank. About 500 Palestinians, including 124 children, have been killed and 8,000have been arrested in the West Bank, Her Majesty said.

 “We've seen the largest land grab in 30 years take place in March – 800 hectares of Palestinian land. Armed settler attacks are at a record high. They're attacking Palestinian homes, burning crops, attacking their solar panels, water tanks, cars… This is happening every day, and it's under full view, if not participation, of the army.”

Queen Rania stressed the importance of achieving a just peace, noting that the pre-war status quo was not sustainable for either Israelis or Palestinians. “That status quo has been broken forever. And it is a status quo that was based on an illegal occupation that fueled fear and insecurity on both sides. It's a status quo that has no political horizons, and therefore made the option of violence more attractive,” she said.

Calling on the international community to “put its weight behind” peace efforts, Her Majesty underscored that both sides of the conflict must be held accountable. “Having a just peace cannot just be about the stronger side implementing its will over the weaker side.” 

 “Palestinians have less resources, they have less influence, they have less leverage, but they don't have less rights,” Her Majesty said. “Disproportionate power should never result in unequal rights.”

The Queen also recalled the advice of her late father-in-law, His Majesty King Hussein, who signed a peace deal with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1994. “He's the one who once said to me, ‘Rania, you always have to put yourself in the other person's shoes.’ I've never forgotten those words. A simple thing to do – but very rarely are people doing that these days. And that is the door to empathy.”

 “All I want is for people to just, for once, try to put themselves in the shoes of Palestinians,” she said.

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