A senior Palestinian official has blasted US President Donald Trump‘s UN envoy, accusing her of carrying out a “crusade” against the Palestinian people.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said on Wednesday that Nikki Haley was leading a “one-woman crusade … against Palestine and the Palestinian people individually and collectively”.
“Through an obsessive and targeted campaign of intimidation and threats, Miss Haley’s crusade does not miss an opportunity to put pressure on anyone that seeks to challenge Israeli impunity,” she added.
Ashrawi said Haley was echoing remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon defended Haley’s work.
“Small wonder Hanan Ashrawi is unhappy – @nikkihaley fights for a fair treatment of #Israel, exactly what the #Palestinians don’t want…,” he wrote on Twitter.
Palestinian officials have privately expressed increasing alarm at the Trump administration’s pro-Israel stance as the US president seeks to restart peace negotiations.
However, until Wednesday they had publicly refrained from criticising senior US officials.
Haley visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in June.
Accusation on UN
Ashrawi said Haley was “compounding the victimisation of the Palestinian people and browbeating the institutions that are meant to defend their rights”.
The statement was distributed by the PLO.
The US vetoed the appointment of a former Palestinian prime minister as UN envoy to Libya, while Haley has called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to intervene to block a forthcoming vote on the city of Hebron which declares the West Bank city under threat.
Trump came to office seeking to pursue what he has called the “ultimate deal” and has pledged to restart negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Ashrawi said Haley was undermining the chances of peace by “pursuing her own agenda consistent with her anti-Palestinian obsession and as an apologist for Israel”.
Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community.
In December, the UN Security Council adopted a landmark resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.
Source: News agencies
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jabari Ansari has called for the United Nations’ technical aid for the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria.
Jabari Ansari, who is in the Kazakh capital city, Astana, to attend a new round of peace talks on the Syrian crisis, held talks with UN special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday.
He said the UN must assist the intra-Syrian talks for the national reconciliation process to start.
Astana hosts the fifth round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition, with Iran, Russia, and Turkey as mediators.
In the last round of Astana talks in May, Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed on the creation of four de-escalation zones in Syria.
De Mistura, for his part, said the UN supported joint efforts by Iran, Russia and Turkey within the framework of the Astana talks on Syria and called on the Islamic Republic to help the UN-brokered Syria peace talks in Geneva.
Six rounds of the Syrian peace talks have been held in the Swiss city of Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations as part of efforts to facilitate a political resolution for the deadly conflict in the Arab country.
Jaberi Ansari and De Mistura also discussed the intra-Syrian talks, the establishment of a permanent ceasefire and peace, and an end to violence in the Arab country.
They also stressed the importance of paying attention to the needs of the Syrian people.
Also on Tuesday, Jaberi Ansari held discussions with Russia’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, about the Astana peace talks and the latest political developments in Syria, particularly in the four de-escalation zones.
At Damascus’ request, Iran has been providing military advisory support to the Syrian military in its counterterrorism operations.
Russia has been also carrying out an aerial campaign in Syria in coordination with Damascus since September 2015 to further boost the Syrian military’s anti-terror fight.
Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what it claims to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014, but without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last month that 472 civilians had been killed in the period between May 23 and June 23, describing the figure as the highest civilian death toll in US airstrikes since they began in September 2014.