Bangladesh denounces the armed conflict
‘What’s important for us is the unity’
A large number of Bangladeshis, mostly youths, expressed their solidarity with Palestine by turning up at the embassy in Dhaka Thursday afternoon as Ambassador Yousef SY Ramadan sought the support of all to free Gaza from the Israeli siege.
They wore T-shirts inscribed with “Free Palestine”, and held placards writing “O Allah! Have mercy on the Palestinians; give victory to Palestinian Muslims against the Occupying Israel” and the flags of both Bangladesh and Palestine. One of the organizers claimed that he distributed 750 T-shirts among the crowd.
“Today, Gaza is burning. It’s not only under siege from the Israelis, but unfortunately, it’s under siege from the Western world. There is no food, no medicine, no electricity, no gas, and no drinking water allowed to go to Gaza,” the ambassador said.
“So, the people of Palestine and the people in the Gaza Strip are facing an unprecedented situation, which I believe humanity as a whole denounced, that we appeal first to our Muslim brothers and sisters to stand firmly with the just struggle of the people of Palestine.”
Ambassadors and the charge d’affaires of the OIC member states based in Dhaka, including UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia, went to the embassy and met the ambassador amid the Bangladeshi crowd inside and outside the chancery.
Ramadan thanked the ambassadors of the OIC member states in Dhaka for coming to express their solidarity and support for the people of Palestine and the just cause of Palestine.
“What’s important for us is the unity that you can see today among the OIC countries and the OIC diplomatic missions in Bangladesh. We’re all united; we are all standing on the right side of history. We stand for good. We stand against evil,” he told journalists.
At least 150 hostages were taken into Gaza during Hamas’s deadly attacks on Israel at the weekend that killed 1,300 people, the BBC reported. More than 1,300 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory air strikes, with 338,000 displaced.
Bangladesh denounced the armed conflict and deplored the resultant loss of innocent civilian lives and injuries to victims.
“We urge both Israelis and Palestinians to exercise maximum restraint and call for immediate ceasefire to avoid further loss of innocent lives from both sides,” the foreign ministry said earlier.
“Bangladesh holds that living under the Israeli occupation and forced settlements in Palestinian territory will not bring peace to the region. Therefore, Bangladesh supports a two-state solution, Palestine and Israel, living side by side as independent states free of occupation following UN Resolutions No. 242 and 338, which could bring lasting peace and stability in the region.”
Mohammad Jabed, a college student, went to the embassy from Mirpur. He was chanting the slogan “Free Palestine” wearing the T-shirt.
“I came here to express my solidarity. Israel is killing our Muslim brothers. I came here to support Palestine,” he told Dhaka Tribune.
Md Naem Islam, who was also there at the embassy, told Dhaka Tribune that he works in a hospital in Gulshan-1. “I came here to express my support for Palestine.”
Faraaz Karim Chowdhury who identified himself as a social worker, mobilized support for Palestine. He made a call on his Facebook page on Wednesday, asking all to gather at the Palestine embassy. His mother was also seen with him at the embassy.
He is the son of ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, a Member of Parliament of the ruling Awami League from Raozan Upazilla in Chittagong district.
Drik Gallery founder and photojournalist Shahidul Alam was also present, wearing the T-shirt “Free Palestine”.
Former foreign secretary Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury was also present at the meeting with the OIC ambassadors. He later told Dhaka Tribune that he came here to express solidarity as the chairperson of his new party, Trinamool BNP.
Faraaz was seen addressing the crowd from the embassy’s balcony on the first floor.
Later, he wrote on the Facebook page: “I believe that those of you who have stood by the people of Palestine today will surely be rewarded by almighty Allah. I have been able to make only 750 t-shirts since this morning. I apologize for not being able to give to many more people. Insha Allah, I will try to deliver T-shirts to all of you in the future.”
‘We are thankful to Bangladesh’
Ambassador Ramadan said the people of Bangladesh as well as the government of Bangladesh are always standing in support of Palestine, and “they never give up this”.
“We appreciate your support. We appreciate each and every Bangladeshi citizen,” he said.
“But of course, we want a few things from Bangladesh,” the ambassador said when asked.
“We want the government of Bangladesh to follow the guidelines of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has always expressed her full support for the people of Palestine.
“We also wanted Bangladesh to help us use its good offices with their friends to try to stop the genocide against the people in Gaza,” he added.
Everything is blocked
The only country with a border with Gaza is Egypt. But Israel threatened the Egyptians to target any trucks coming from Egypt to help the Palestinians if they contained medicine, food, water, or whatever. The Israelis have waged a war. It has never happened since the Second World War, the ambassador said.
He said the Americans are sending their fleets and their planes to the Mediterranean Sea; “we expected them instead to send food and medicine for us.
“They have kept a certain siege over Gaza so that a fly cannot go inside Gaza. No one is allowed to go in. No one. Everything is blocked.
“Even if Bangladesh provides us food and medicine or other countries, nobody is able to send anything to Gaza,” he said.
As people showed interest in making donations, the embassy shared a bank account on the Facebook page.
“But believe me, we don’t want your money. We want your feelings to be with us. Your feelings toward us and standing with us are much more important than your money,” Ramadan said.
‘Don’t trust western media’
The envoy said people in the Gaza Strip are being treated much worse than a wild animal, and that is unacceptable. We cannot accept that under any condition or circumstance. There is no justification.
“This is the first time ever that the situation is getting harder. There is no difference between man, woman, child, military, or civilians. All the Palestinians are targets.
All the Palestinians are targets for the most advanced technology, Western technology, in the hands of the Israeli occupying fascist forces.
All those weapons are directed at the men, women, and children in Palestine.
“Trust me and believe me, the people who claimed that the Palestinian killed children and raped woman, it’s a lie. There is no evidence or a photo which proves that,” Ramadan said.
“But there are photos which prove how many Palestinian children are being killed and targeted. So do not believe the lies from the Western media or the Israeli media.”
Source: Dhaka Tribune.