COURTESY Palestine Wildlife Society Image Credit:

Ramallah: The Palestine Wildlife Society, a signatory of the International Convention for the Protection of Birds, has urged the Palestinian President and Prime Minister to approve and officially announce the Palestine Sunbird as the national bird of the state of Palestine after the failure of a major Israeli international campaign to change the name of the bird.

According to Ebrahim Fawzi Awdah, who heads the Awareness Department of the society, the organisation had caused the failure of a major Israeli campaign to change the name of the bird from the Palestine Sunbird to the Orange Bird. “The bird’s name contains the name of Palestine and that was the reason for it being the subject of a major Israeli campaign aiming to change the official bird’s name,” he told Gulf News.

“The Israeli campaign targeting this bird which holds the name of Palestine had reached all the world institutions and bodies.”

“Now we need for a Palestinian move to officially recognise the Palestine Sunbird as the national bird of Palestine,” he stressed.

He explained that the bird was registered with world bodies with this name and that Israel had not been able to change the name. “We have successfully halted the Israeli campaign and the bird’s name cannot be changed for the sake of an Israeli demand which is based on the Israeli hatred for the name of Palestine,” said Awdah.

He said Israel fights the Palestinians environmentally and in all aspects of life and the Israeli occupation handles the Palestinians brutally and aggressively. He highlighted the importance of the Palestinian presence on international bodies to confront the Israeli [] campaigns to fight the state of Palestine. “Israelis are the enemies of the Palestinian natural life and environment,” he said.

“The Israelis have not been able to accomplish their goal and change the bird’s name with the international institutions,” he said. “We cannot however claim that we have won the confrontation unless the Palestinian Presidency and premiership approve and announce the bird as the national bird of Palestine,” he said. “Only then we will be victorious in our environmental confrontation with the Israelis.

Awdah said the Israelis would not give up their attempts to change the bird’s name but that there will be no chance for them to win.

Palestine Wildlife Society, in coordination with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, organised a nationwide photography and writing competition for school students on the Palestine Sunbird. The two organisations will hold a major ceremony on Thursday to honour the winners who will get valuable awards.

The scientific name of the Palestine Sunbird is Nectarinia Osea. The bird has blue, green, orange, black and purple colours, moves quickly and feeds on the nectar of roses.