Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh will not recognise Israel until Palestine is established as an independent and sovereign country.
"As long as Palestine is not established as an independent and sovereign state, we are beside them and we would not accept any occupation army there," he said while speaking at a handover ceremony of medicines donated by Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries for the people of Palestine at the state guest house Padma in the capital.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh never recognised Israel, even though Tel Aviv on several occasions approached Dhaka for its recognition and building bilateral ties.
He further said Bangladesh believes in a two-state solution – existence of Israel and Palestine as independent states – as a way out to the decades-long crisis there.
The foreign minister said there has been a soul-to-soul relationship between the peoples of Bangladesh and Palestine since the time of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Noting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already sent $50,000 for the Palestinians, the foreign minister said apart from the government, many private organisations and individuals have been sending donations there.
Earlier, the foreign minister said Bangladesh has not changed its stance on Israel and the foreign policy of Bangladesh remains the same as it was during Bangabandhu's time.
"If anyone (Bangladeshi citizen) goes to Israel without the government's permission, they will be liable to be prosecuted… there has been evidence before," he said.
Bangladesh also condemned the recent atrocities inflicted on civilians by the occupation forces of Israel at al-Aqsa mosque compound and in Gaza.
Yousef SY Ramadan, Palestinian ambassador in Dhaka and SM Shafiuzzaman, secretary general of the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries (Bapi), among others, were present at the donation handover ceremony.
The programme was informed that 1,400 kilograms of medicines worth Tk40 lakh were being given to Palestine by Bapi. The industry donated medicines and healthcare products for Palestine on previous occasions as well.