Palestinian official accuses Israel of rampant violence
By Emre Unsalli
In a harrowing account of the current situation in the West Bank, Aqel Taqz, the Secretary for International Relations of the Palestinian People's Party and Vice President of the World Peace Council, has provided a stark summary of the Israeli military's operations. According to Taqz, an average of "60 to 70 people are killed every night" in the region, painting a grim picture that extends beyond the borders of Gaza.
The violence in Gaza has been making headlines since the Israeli army's response to a Hamas attack on October 7. This offensive has resulted in more than 11,000 Palestinian casualties, with civilians bearing the brunt of air and ground attacks. The aftermath has left an unknown number still trapped beneath rubble, and the conflict spills over into the West Bank, affecting various Palestinian factions, including the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and the PPP (Palestinian People's Party).
Taqz, in an interview with Artı Gerçek, detailed the extent of the devastation wrought by Israeli forces before the well-known Gaza offensive. "The situation in the West Bank is no better than in Gaza," he stated, recounting incidents of hospitals and farms being targeted and Palestinian property set ablaze by the Israeli military.
Amidst ongoing violence, Taqz also touched upon the recent attack on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He stressed the importance of uncovering the entities responsible for the assault, suggesting that it might not solely be an internal Palestinian issue.
Addressing the factional divide between Hamas and the PLO, Taqz expressed his opposition to any separation that undermines the unity of the Palestinian cause. He dismissed any plans that could lead to further isolation or the marginalization of Hamas, emphasizing the need for inclusivity in the struggle against occupation.
Taqz further criticized the role of international players, particularly Israel and the United States, in the plight of the Palestinian people. He accused Israel of seeking to create a land devoid of Palestinians and criticized the international community for its failure to intervene effectively. "The only cause of all the problems in the Middle East is the occupation and the occupiers," he asserted, calling for global solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.
In addition to his political work, Dr. Aqel Taqz is known for his medical expertise as an ophthalmologist and administrator in a Palestinian settlement. His involvement in Palestinian affairs has been consistent since 1982.
The Palestinian People's Party, of which Taqz is a representative, has a storied history dating back to its founding as the Palestinian Communist Party. Despite its initial skepticism of the PLO's negotiations with Israel, it supported the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements and has been a vocal entity within the Palestinian political landscape.