Hebron Mayor Khaled Osaily received in his office on the 1st of December the US Consul General Mr. Daniel Rubenstein who was accompanied by Ms. Mary Alexander from the Consulate’s Economic Section and Mr. Mohanad Al Jaouni, Economic Advisor. The visit aimed at discussing conditions in Hebron and getting acquainted with its living conditions
After welcoming his guests, Osaily spoke about Israeli occupation violations in Hebron, conditions in the Old City, the impact of closures and checkpoints on Palestinians at all levels and the key role that the US can play to pressure the Israeli government to ease the suffering of the city’s population.
“Hebron inhabitants wish to live a normal life like all other nations. They aspire to a decent, stable, secure and safe life. Neither economic development nor an improvement in daily life can be achieved without a political breakthrough and real stability. The US Administration should support President Abbas’s calls for ending settlement activities which constitute a main obstacle preventing peace in the region. The free world must take steps to ensure the immediate respect of Human Rights treaties and of international resolutions which call for the protection of civilians and for safeguarding their right to live in freedom, dignity, security and stability. All influential powers in the world, especially the USA, must exert pressure on Israeli occupation authorities to force them to respect these resolutions as well as the peace process”, he said.
Osaily stressed the importance of ensuring a normal life for Palestinians and of supporting vital and infrastructure projects in the OPT. He touched on the great achievements made in the past few years and reaffirmed that Palestinians are keen on building their State and Governorates despite obstacles imposed by Israel. He focused on achievements made in the fields of sports and youths and the new start-of-the-art facilities built in the city. He also called on the US Consul to urge his government to support Hebron’s request for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, touching on the recommendations adopted by the Paris Conference which underline the city’s merit and numerous sites which deserve to be inscribed on the WHL with a view to protecting them and safeguarding their value. “During the Conference, international experts presented several papers and studies which focused on Hebron’s unique historical values, indicating that the city’s history and archeology surpass those of other cities inscribed on the List”, he added.
Mr. Rubenstein said he was very happy with his visit to Hebron and with his meeting with its Mayor. He expressed his admiration of the level of administrative development achieved by the Municipality, the high quality services provided to inhabitants and projects realized lately. It is very important to improve the economy, promote education and improve services provided to Palestinians, he said, adding that his country seeks to achieve regional peace and stability through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis. He also hoped to see the conflict end and peace prevail in the region.