RAMALLAH, September 9, 2014 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that, “Americans need to understand that the Palestinian people represent a nation under occupation suffering from a system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and it is time for Congress to reconsider its unquestioning support of Israel and its military aid to Israel.,” said a press release issued Tuesday by PLO Executive Committee Department of Culture and Information.
During an official visit to Washington D.C., which began on September 9th, Ashrawi participated in a series of meetings in which she discussed Israel’s horrific assault on Gaza, its tragic aftermath and the need to ensure that the indiscriminate bombing and the brutal massacre of the Palestinian people in Gaza is not repeated.
Ashrawi first met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Bill Burns, at the State Department. Both parties discussed the latest political developments, and Ashrawi emphasized the importance of launching a political initiative to end the military occupation of Palestine within a clear timeframe. She also stressed the severe consequences of Israel’s ongoing settlement enterprise, manifested in the recent land grab of 1000 acres from the towns of Surif, Husan, al-Jabaa and Bethlehem, and the tenders that Israel issued on Friday for 283 units in the illegal settlement of Elkana, south of Nablus.
In a separate meeting, Ashrawi met with White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region, Philip Gordon, and briefed him on Israel’s latest campaign of aggression and terror in Gaza and its stepped-up efforts of settlement expansion, violence and war crimes in the West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem).
Ashrawi and Gordon discussed the role of the U.S.; she stressed that the United States should consider a new and more constructive approach than the one it has sustained in the pursuit of achieving a two-state solution. Ashrawi also asked for American support in future Palestinian initiatives calling for the United Nations to take a more significant role in ending the occupation and enduring the protection of the Palestinian people.
Organized by the Palestinian Business Committee on Peace and Reform (PBCPR), Ashrawi participated in a meeting with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). In the meeting with the PBCPR representatives that focused on the latest political developments in Palestine, the escalation of Israeli violations of international law that are destroying the chances for peace and stability in the region, and a plan for short-term and long-term reconstruction in Gaza.
Ashrawi was accompanied by Palestinian Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative of the General Delegation of the PLO to the U.S.