Hyderabad: Palestine’s Grand Mufti Mohammed A H Hussein and parliamentarian Abdullah M I Abdullah yesterday called upon India to participate in the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel for its continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Hoping that the new government in India will continue the country’s principled stand on the Palestinian issue, they urged both the government and the people of India to participate in the global movement.
Addressing a news conference here, the two leaders cited the growing support for the campaign even from the US and several European countries. They hoped that the campaign would finally lead to the end of the “last colonisation” of the 21st century.
The grand mufti and the parliamentarian along with Palestine’s Ambassador to India Adli Shaban Hassan Sadeq and Sudan’s Ambassador to India Hassan E El Talib were here to address a public meeting in support of the Palestinian cause organised by the Indo-Arab League.
Abdullah said the BDS campaign was receiving support from around the world with several countries boycotting Israeli products coming from occupied territories of Palestine and divesting their investments in firms and banks located there.
“We expect Indian people known for their justice oriented position to also support this campaign to boycott all products that come from illegal settlements,” Abdullah said.
The parliamentarian hoped that the Narendra Modi government will continue India’s policy on Palestine based on “principles and not interests”.
Abdullah pointed out that after the new government in India assumed office, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas sent a message congratulating Prime Minister Modi, in which he stressed the traditional relationship between India and Palestine.
Referring to the statement made by India at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Algiers last month, he said the stand taken by New Delhi “is definitely assuring that India will be positively looking at the situation”. “We are asking for more from people of India by participating in BDS campaign,” he said.
The grand mufti recalled that India has been supporting the cause of Palestine since 1948 and hoped that it will continue to stand for justice and rights of Palestinians. He accused Israel of going ahead with its plan to desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem, and alleged that Israelis were desecrating religious sites of both Muslims and Christians.
The grand mufti also said excavation underneath the mosque was weakening the mosque’s base, while Israeli extremists were also making daily incursions into mosque, the third holiest place for the Muslims after Makkah and Madina.
He said Palestinians were fighting for their own state with Jerusalem as its capital. He called upon all the countries who believe in justice and human rights to stand up against the Israel’s criminal actions. He said the Palestinian issue was not a question of only Palestinians or Arabs but had international dimensions as Israelis had infringed on the rights of Palestinian people.