UN team thanks Trinidad and Tobago for understanding Palestine issue

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo Concerned Muslims of TT and other supporters marched through the streets of Chaguanas to show solidarity for Palestine in the ongoing conflict with Israel. – Lincoln Holder

A UN mission visiting this region to advocate the cause of Palestine thanked local people in a statement on Wednesday for understanding the issue.

“The Bureau of the UN Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People visited Trinidad and Tobago from April 22-23 to advocate for Palestinian rights and urged the Government to consider recognising the state of Palestine.”

The UN team met the Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs and visited the Diplomatic Academy at UWI, St Augustine and the Trinidad Muslim League.

“Discussions included the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

The statement said individuals taking part in these talks had “expressed widespread support for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, unimpeded humanitarian aid access, backing for UNRWA, and the promotion of a two-state solution.”

UNRWA is the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“The bureau commended the depth of understanding and awareness about the Gaza situation in TT, and emphasised the importance of supporting the Palestinian people,

including by establishing full diplomatic relations with the state of Palestine.

“The bureau reiterates its urgent appeal for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza, an end to the forced displacement of Palestinians, and unobstructed access to humanitarian assistance.”

Palestine’s permanent observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, called on TT to help end Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip and to recognise Palestine as a state, just as about 141 nations have done.

Israel was created as a state in 1948 on lands where Jews had historically lived, but where hundreds of thousands of resident Arabs were expelled in Al Nakba (“the Catastrophe”), and replaced by an influx of Jews fleeing persecution after the Holocaust in Europe.

Last October 7, hundreds of Hamas fighters suddenly attacked communities in Israel, killing 1,200 people and seizing 250 as hostages to Gaza, amid reported sexual assaults.

Since then, Israel’s retaliatory campaign against the whole of Gaza has killed 33,000 people and destroyed many buildings and facilities. In both the Hamas attack and the Israeli campaign, most victims have been innocent civilians.