The Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East (MPPM) condemns in the strongest terms the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, carried out in the Iraqi capital by the United States.

The assassination of a high-ranking personality from a foreign country, out of a situation of war and furthermore in violation of Iraqi sovereignty, constitutes an act of state terrorism and a blatant violation of international law.

The United States, which invaded Iraq in 2003 without a UN mandate and on false pretexts, is fully responsible for the new escalation of instability and violence in the Middle East region, whose disastrous consequences will be suffered in the first place by its peoples, but which could spread unpredictably on a global scale.

The Palestinian people have been waiting 72 years for the realization of the promise made to them by the UN, in 1947, of the creation of a Palestinian State in the territory of Palestine. Over the decades, successive UN resolutions have reaffirmed this commitment. Many countries have already taken the decision to recognize the State of Palestine, in a concrete expression of solidarity with its people's cause. The Assembly of the Republic [Parliament] in Portugal has already recommended full recognition of the State of Palestine.

MPPM condemns the visit to Portugal of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, this Wednesday and Thursday. Allegedly intended, as initially announced, for a meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States, Michael Pompeo, which would already be objectionable, this visit will be used, it is known today, for meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, which is of the utmost gravity.

According to Israeli media, the topics of the meeting between Netanyahu and Pompeo include Iran and other regional issues, as well as the possible annexation of the Jordan Valley and a defence pact between Israel and the USA.

MPPM – the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East strongly denounces and condemns Portugal's acquisition of Israeli electronic warfare equipment (EW Suite) for the KC-390 aircraft under construction for the Portuguese Air Force.

Council of Ministers Resolution 120/2019 of 11 July 2019 [1] authorizing the acquisition of five KC-390 airplanes and one flight simulator and their logistical support contracts includes in its point 1. (c): «The purchase of electronic warfare equipment (EW Suite) for the KC-390 aircraft from Elbit Systems EW and Sigint - Elisra, up to a maximum of EUR 44,969,053, plus VAT».

MPPM strongly condemns the ongoing invasion of Syrian territory by Turkey.

This invasion, unfortunately, is far from being an exceptional case. Rather, it is the latest episode of the war imposed on Syria for eight years, aimed at its fragmentation and the liquidation of its role in supporting the Palestinian people, in opposing Zionism and imperial designs in the region.

Nor can the war against Syria be understood outside the framework of Western aggressions and interferences in the region, namely in Iraq, in Libya, in Yemen, with devastating consequences for its martyred peoples.

Foreign interference in Syria, including the funding and arming of terrorist groups, has been carried out not only by Turkey, but also by Israel and the Arab petromonarchies, as well as by the USA and by European Union states that illegally maintain troops in the country.

MPPM protests against the persecution of activists of solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people, namely Angeles Maestro in Spain and Khaled Barakat in Germany, to whom it expresses its solidarity.

Angeles Maestro and two other activists are accused by the Spanish National High Court of collaborating with a “terrorist organization” for collecting funds for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, after the 2014 Israeli aggression, which they handed over to Leila Khaled, well-known leader of the PFLP. It is recalled that Leila Khaled visited Portugal in November 2014, at the invitation of MPPM, and had meetings in the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament] with the Parliamentary Group for Portugal-Palestine Friendship and with the Parliamentary Groups of PCP (Communist Party), PEV (Green Party), PSD (Social-Democraric Party), BE (Left Block) and PS (Socialist Party).

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, which on 20 June is marked throughout the world on the initiative of the UN, MPPM expresses its particular concern about the threats that the policy of the United States government imposes on the fate of Palestinian refugees. At the same time, MPPM draws attention to the centrality of the refugee question in the current international situation and expresses its solidarity with refugees throughout the world and in particular with the millions of refugees in the Middle East.

The plight of the millions of refugees requires us to search for the deep causes of their situation. Particularly in the case of the Middle East, they are inextricably linked to the action of the Western powers that, in order to maintain their hegemony in the region, have fomented and continue to support wars of interference and destruction such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen .

As the 71st anniversary of Nakba is marked on 15 May, the Palestinian people are facing immense dangers and are experiencing one of the most serious situations since the creation of the State of Israel. The announced “deal of the century” aims to legitimize Israel's annexationist policy with its train of arrests, deaths, destruction, dispossession. The refugees are ignored, the criminal blockade of Gaza continues, the construction of illegal settlements and the expulsion of Palestinians from East Jerusalem continue apace. The “Nation-State Law” enshrines discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

1. The seriousness of the statements by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, announcing the intention to proceed with the formal annexation of occupied territories of the West Bank, cannot be ignored or silenced. The statements by US Foreign Minister Michael Pompeo that such annexation would not pose a problem for the so-called "deal of the century" are equally unacceptable and give rise to well-founded fears about this US government-sponsored plan.

The Portuguese Parliament approved on April 17 two votes in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s cause, presented respectively by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Left Bloc (BE). MPPM – the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East welcomes these expressions of solidarity from the Portuguese Parliament.

The Communist parliamentary group presented the «Vote of Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli jails», marking April 17, the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner.

For its part, the BE's group proposed the «Vote of condemnation and concern for the declared intention of the Israeli Prime Minister to continue with illegal occupations in the West Bank», regarding the recent statements of Benjamin Netanyahu.


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