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Hawatmeh: The Palestinians are victims of the Syrian crisis, and Russia is trying to form an encompassing international coalition to solve that crisis.
November 10, 2015
The Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Nayef Hawatmeh, said that Russia is trying to create a world situation in which all can participate, in the framework of an international alliance to solve the Syrian crisis… He further indicated that “various understandings have been signed between Russia and several Arab countries on the eve of the arrival of its forces to Syrian territories".

Hawatmeh told the Al-Asharq Al-Awsat news agency, "the Russian intervention in Syria is taking place in the context of the various interferences of the United States Administration, the European Union and several regional States through financing and sending weapons, which are received by the forces of Daesh and its associates in Syria and Irak", adding that the intervention by the Russians, as they themselves declared, was motivated by their supreme interests and not by the protection of Bashar Al-Asad or anyone else.

He further stated that "Russia tried to reach balanced solutions in the framework of Geneva I and II, preparing conditions to go to Geneva III. He also announced his support for the efforts of the UN representative, Staffan de Mistura, in order to solve the Syrian crisis. It was present, in different ways, in the rounds of negotiation of the (internal and external) opposition with the officials of the Syrian government, although no solution was reached. It was from there that emerged the mutual interest around the visit of the Syrian President to Moscow, a trip in which we can observe –I believe— that he has only gone to the Russian capital in response to a Russian request, because the moment had come to analyze the situation in an encompassing and profound way. There must have certainly been a deep analysis about developments in Syria, in which direction the situation is heading, as well as how to reach solutions and what alternatives are available to put an end to the crisis, since reality demonstreates that it is imposible to adopt what has been declared or announced by only one of the groups involved in the conflict". He also affirmed that the entanglement of the situation at an international and a regional level has highlighted the need to take Geneva I as a reference, with its 6 bases, and to have a dialogue table that would encompass everyone in Geneva III in order to reach a solution.

Furthermore, he said, “is the situation stays like this, problems will become more acute, everyone will be a loser and firstly the Syrian people. That is why the situation must be viewed from its various angles. Syria is an important country in the Middle East, risking being disarticulated. Some of its territory is occupied and it is urged by the need to protect itself from suffering a disarticulation as a country and as a State, even the need to keep its army united and to achieve the quick implementation of the reolution, the bases and the principles of Geneva I".

He warned that “the Syrian crisis, going into its fifth year, is catastrophic and bloody for the Syrian people and for all the peoples of the world, especially with the presence there of all types of weapons on the ground and over its territories, with the existence of over 50 armed factions of political Islam and Daesh with its partners, civilian and national forces, besides the regular army of the Syrian State.”

Regarding the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, Hawatmeh replied that "Palestinian refugees are the victims of the Syrian crisis and of all the warring clashed that take place in Syria. At the Al-Yarmouk Camp, which had a population estimated between 180 and 200 thousand, now there are only 10 thousand. Of the rest, several thousands died and tens of thousands have fled to other parts of Syria, to the camps in Lebanon and other countries of the world, whether in Europe of the Americas and Australia, and therefore the Camp has become one of the major victims.

“The residents of the Camp that stayed behind have resisted in order to preserve it because it represents a symbol of return. The Palestinian people needs to be grouped, and not to be distributed throughout the world, so that it might defend its right to retyurn and to struggle alongside all the Palestinian forces, whether this is inside or outside, for self-determination and the establishment of its independent State, with its capital in East Jerusalem."

"By our own experiences, we know that when a camp is anihilated, it ceases to exist; this is what happened in Lebanon, where three camps (Nabatiyeh, in the South; Mar Elias in Por nuestras experiencias sabemos que cuando aniquilan un campamento ya no vuelve a existir, esto es lo que sucedió en el Líbano, donde tres campamentos fueron destruidos (Nabatiyeh, en el sur, Mar Elias in Beirut and Naher Al-Bared up North) were destroyed. Besides, we have other experiences in Irak. After the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime and when power went into the hands of sectarian religious parties, many Palestinians were murdered, others were forced to flee and the concentration of Palestinians was eliminated. At the same time, Palestinians were not welcomed by any Arab regime; instead, they were dispersed throughout the world; many of them were welcomed in Latin America".

He also explained that in the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon, especially Al-Yarmouk and Ain Al-Helweh, that had carried on their shoulders the Palestinian Revolution since the year 1967 and until 1987, tributing tens of thousands martyrs, and have paid an enormous tax in blood in the defense of the people, for national rights and the construction of the PLO.

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