Archives for October 2016

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, New York, 19 October 2016

Mr. President,

At the outset, I extend Palestine’s congratulations to the Russian Federation on its presidency of the Security Council and our appreciation for convening of this important debate today.

I also thank Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Special Coordinator, for his briefing and ongoing efforts, including to draw the Council’s attention to the critical issues before us.

I also reiterate our deep appreciation to the five Security Council members that co-chaired last week’s Arria-meeting on Israeli settlement activities, allowing for the Council to hear expert presentations about the stark reality and dangers of the ongoing illegal colonization of Palestine, both on the ground and on the prospects for peace. We thank Malaysia, Egypt, Angola, Senegal and Venezuela for this timely and important initiative.

Mr. President,

Reflecting on that meeting and the firm positions reaffirmed by all Council members, along with many recent Government statements in response to Israeli settlement announcements, it is clear that the settlements issue is not, as cynically claimed by some, a “one-sided, Palestinian” issue. As affirmed in every statement, the illegality of settlement activities and the threats posed to the two-State solution and peace prospects, are matters of international law and involve all States concerned with a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace and security in the Middle East. [Read more…]

بيان صحفي

                                                                                                          11  اكتوبر 2016

بيان صحفي

بعثة فلسطين تطالب المجتمع الدولي بتوفير الحماية للمدنيين الفلسطينيين في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة

          ألقت ريم منصور، المستشار القانوني بالبعثة المراقبة الدائمة لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة، كلمة أمام اللجنة القانونية (السادسة) التابعة للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حول بند حالة البروتوكولين الإضافيين لإتفاقيات جنيف لعام 1949 والمتعلقة بحماية ضحايا النزاعات المسلحة ذكرت فيها أننا نناقش هذه المسألة في لحظة حرجة ونحن نشهد معاناة هائلة لملايين المدنيين في النزاعات المسلحة حول العالم، وخاصة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.  الشعب الفلسطيني يعرف جيدا الآلام والمآسي الناجمة عن النزاعات المسلحة فهو لايزال يعاني من مظالم النكبة عام 1948، بما في ذلك محنة  أكثر من خمسة ملايين لاجئ فلسطيني وهي اطول محنة لاجئين في العالم، ويعاني من الإحتلال العسكري الإسرائيلي الوحشي وغيرالشرعي لمدة نصف قرن تقريبا. لقد استمرت معاناة الشعب الفلسطيني بسبب عدم التوصل إلى حل عادل للنزاع، على الرغم من قرارات الأمم المتحدة التي لا تعد ولا تحصى، وأيضا بسبب فشل المجتمع الدولي في ضمان احترام القانون الإنساني الدولي في مواجهة الانتهاكات الخطيرة له وفي توفير الحماية للمدنيين إلى أن يتحقق هذا الحل [Read more…]

7 October 2016 – Israeli Crimes and Violations Perpetrated Against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

I regret to once again have to draw your attention to the critical and tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people.  The systematic human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law, particularly the theft and colonization of the Palestinian land, being perpetrated by the occupying Power continue to undermine the fragile and perilous situation on the ground and threaten to make the two-State solution impossible.

In flagrant defiance of international law and the demands of the international community to cease its illegitimate, destructive campaign of settlement building throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to provoke and incite with repeated declarations regarding further plans to colonize the Palestinian land.  Just last week, the occupying Power announced its intention to advance plans to construct an entirely new illegal Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank, likely to be used to [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations before the Sixth Committee, agenda item 81: Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, 71st h Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 7 October 2016:

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Distinguished Delegates,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Tunisia on behalf of the Arab Group.

We are discussing this issue at a critical moment as we witness the immense suffering of millions of civilians in conflicts around the world, particularly in the Middle East, where civilians are bearing the highest toll of armed conflict in all forms, including foreign occupation. This toll has compelled the largest movement of refugees since World War II with grave humanitarian, social, economic, psychological and security consequences for the children, women and men whose fate it is to become a refugee, as well as consequences for the countries in conflict, receiving countries and the international community as a whole.

The Palestinian people know too well the pain and tragedy of such turmoil and dislocation as they continue to suffer the injustices of the 1948 Nakba, including 5.5 million Palestine refugees constituting the most protracted refugee crisis in the world, and to endure the brutality of Israel’s illegal, belligerent occupation for nearly a half century. Their suffering persists due to the failure to achieve a just solution to the conflict, despite countless UN resolutions, but also due to the international community’s failure to uphold international humanitarian law (IHL) in the face of grave breaches and to ensure the protection of civilians until such a solution has been realized.

The intent of the drafters of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols was clear: to ensure protection to civilians in situations of armed conflict and minimize their vulnerability and suffering.  Yet, the tragedy of civilians in armed conflict persists due to the lack of respect for IHL in too many circumstances and the failure to hold accountable the perpetrators of violations and grave breaches, including Israel, the occupying Power, which continues to cause harm and suffering to the Palestinian people with absolute impunity. The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols provide a necessary and fundamental framework for parties in armed conflict, including in situations of foreign occupation, by providing protections to civilians and imposing restraints on military conduct. The State of Palestine is deeply committed to ensuring respect for and adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL). Yet, more efforts must be focused on ensuring better compliance with the law so that civilians affected by armed conflict are protected and their suffering minimized to the extent possible. Efforts must also be made to ensure that the restraints provided for by the law are in fact obeyed by militaries. The State of Palestine believes that the international community must continue to work together to promote greater compliance with international humanitarian law so that civilians are afforded the utmost protection in times of war.

We have repeatedly appealed for protection for the Palestinian people, not just in the recent period but over the decades as our people have endured immeasurable oppression and cruelty under Israel’s occupation, including killing and injury of civilians in military raids, airstrikes and bombardments and terror attacks across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, detention, imprisonment, abuse and torture, forced displacement and transfer, an illegal blockade and other severe measures of collective punishment. This deplorable situation is corroborated by numerous UN reports, including the Secretary-General’s annual reports on Children and Armed Conflict, which document the devastating impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian children and their extreme vulnerability. Yet over the decades and despite the calls for protection, Palestinian civilians have been deprived of effective protection from such systematic violations and crimes.

The international community has clear responsibilities, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, which must be upheld.  Protection should not be viewed as unreasonable or unimaginable by any party that respects the law and human rights and seeks peace.  Civilians – children, women and men – must not be used as cannon fodder and all efforts must be made to spare them the atrocities of war and protect their lives. As a State Party to the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, the State of Palestine requests the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depositary of the Geneva Conventions, to convene a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to consider further measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including measures to provide protection to the Palestinian people due to the grave breaches of the provisions of the Conventions being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, and to asses and evaluate the implementation of the Declaration adopted by the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention of 17 December 2014.

Moreover, the State of Palestine reiterates its call on the international community to consider providing the Palestinian people with protection in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, until the end of occupation and the independence of the State of Palestine. In this connection, we also highlight the essential role that can be played by humanitarian organizations, as well as civil society, in providing a protective civilian presence.

For the Palestinian people, this call is more urgent than ever in an unsustainable and dangerous situation still requiring sustained international attention and action.  We implore the international community to rise to the challenge and act to protect civilians and uphold human rights in Palestine and everywhere else in the world where innocent civilians are suffering in conflicts and to restore credibility to IHL and strengthen it for the benefit of the international community as a whole.

Thank you.

Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, before the Sixth Committee, Agenda item 84: The rule of law at the national and international levels, 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 7 October 2016. 

Distinguished delegates,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Over the last few years, the State of Palestine has extremely developed on the legal front, taking major strides through its accession to around 50 international legal instruments. Palestine’s decision to accede to these important international treaties and conventions is rooted in our understanding of the value and significance of the rule of law at the national and international levels. Ensuring equal access to justice for all is essential for translating the principles of the rule of law into effective mechanisms to provide protection, redress and accountability for serious crimes and human rights violations. [Read more…]