Forty-five years on: Aqsa Syarif Remembers an-Naksah (The Setback of June 1967

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As an expression of commitment and continuous solidarity with the Palestinians in their legitimate struggle against the Zionist occupation, Aqsa Syarif would like to call upon each and every Malaysian citizen and the international community to reflect on the event of 5th – 10th June 1967. These dates marked the military and political defeat of the Arab regimes at the hands of the Zionist in what is popularly known as the six-day war or an-Naksah (Setback in Arabic).

The defeat of the Arab countries spearheaded by the United Arab Republic (Egypt), Syria and Jordan, and assisted with men and material by Arab Saudi, Algeria, Iraq, Maghribi and Tunisia did not only resulted in colossal loss of life and military equipments, but also brought about the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza strip, East Jerusalem, The Golan Heights and The Sinai Peninsula. The status of the occupied territories as it stands today can be traced back to the events of June 1967. Today, The Sinai Peninsula has been returned to Cairo under the Camp David Peace deal between Israel and Egypt in 1978. In return, the Palestinians in Gaza have to pay a heavy price, i.e. the only lifeline into Gaza from Egypt at the Rafah crossing comes under the purview of Israel. Following the siege laid on Gaza since 2007 and the barbaric massacre of December 2008 – January 2009, the crossing has remained effectively closed, up until only recently in the wake of the sweeping political change that has seen the removal of the Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak from office. The dates will also live in infamy as Zionist army marched into and desecrated the al-Aqsa Mosque, an act which is denounced by all religious faiths and fraternities. Since 1967, Israel has committed a series of sacrilege mosque and churches in the neighbourhood of the old city of Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. One of these outrageous act was the attack by IDF (Israeli forces) on the Church of Nativity in Bethelhem, the birth place of Jesus (Isa a.s.) in 2002. The Zionist regime also trampled on the declaration made by the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations that accorded the Buraq Wall as a Islamic Heritage by turning it into the Kottel or the Wailing Wall.

In November in the same year the United Nations general assembly has convened and passed the UN Resolution 242 which dictates Israel to withdraw back to the Green line as stipulated by the Rhodes Armistice of 1949. It means, Israel must return to the borders prior to June 1967 and relinquish all occupied territories in the 1967 incursions. Today, after 44 years, the West Bank and East Jerusalem remain under occupation and Gaza remains under debilitating siege. Four decades of occupation has caused the most deplorable living conditions in the occupied territories. The Palestinians in the West Bank are now living in cantonments, their land now criss-crossed by the separation wall which disrupts their daily lives and movements. On top of this, they are subjected to countless roadblocks and military checkpoints which only serve to harass them on a daily basis. They have become ‘displaced’ in their own land, a situation not far off than that endured by 5 million or so Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war in neighbouring Arab countries. Far from having any respect for international laws and basic human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949, the Zionist regime has committed appalling abuse on human rights by arbitrary detention, revoking of citizenship, home demolitions and land confiscations. All these were done under the pretext of establishing the Jewish State of Israel. Amidst international protests and scores of the so-called peace negotiations, Israel remain defiant and continue to engage in settlement activities in the West Bank and in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jerusalem. In the light of remembrance of an-Naksah, Aqsa Syarif appeals to the Arab and Islamic countries to take stock of the humiliating setback of June 1967. Today after decades of iron fist rules across the Arab hinterlands, the people of the middle east and the Palestinians in particular can heave a sigh in relief. The Egyptian people is now empowered to relief and deliveers their brethren in Gaza from the crippling siege. The interim government of Egypt has announced that the gates at Rafah will be kept open indefinitely and in the true spirit of solidarity, Egypt will set up a consulate in Gaza, despite of the US assurance to Israel that every effort to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state by the UN will be frustrated. Forty four long years of occupation and denial of the Palestinians of their rights to a homeland and self determination is long enough to set in motion an overwhelming public opinion drive and a strategic political move to end the predicament and the sufferings. Aqsa Syarif appeals to the international community to join hands and end the occupation of Palestinian land. Aqsa Syarif would like to remind the whole world that the sinister objectives of the Zionist agenda are not only a threat to the Palestinian existence but it is also a threat to the harmony and peace of the whole world. Dr. Hafidzi Mohd Noor Chairman Aqsa Syarif Berhad Aqsa Syarif is a charity organization for the Palestinian cause

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