Archives for April 2018

27 April 2018 – Continuing Casualties in Gaza Protests

Excellency,

Just one day after the Security Council open debate on the “Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question” I am compelled to write to you again as Israel, the occupying Power, continues with its intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip, demonstrating further its complete disregard for the rule of law, UN resolutions, and basic norms of morality.

For the fifth week in a row, unarmed, defenseless Palestinian civilians have taken part in the “Great March of Return”, a peaceful protest largely involving sit-ins, concerts, sports games, speeches and other peaceful activities. These protests, launched on 30 March and set to culminate on 15 May, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, are calling for right of return of Palestine refugees to their homes and towns, demanding an end to Israeli occupation, siege and dispossession, and calling for Palestinian independence and freedom.

The demonstrators are also protesting the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the unbearable conditions of life there, where 2 million Palestinians, the majority refugees, have been subjected, for over a decade, to an illegal Israeli land, sea and air blockade, that has vastly compounded the misery and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people by five decades of Israeli military occupation since 1967 and seven decades of dispossession and denial of their right of return to their homes and ancestral lands since their ruthless uprooting in the Nakba of 1948. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Dr. Riyad Mansour, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, 26 April 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I congratulate Peru on its Security Council Presidency and skilled leadership of the Council at this critical time.

Today, I must also express sincere condolences to the Council and foremost to the Cote d’Ivoire Mission, Government and people on the passing of our dear colleague, Ambassador Bernard Tanoh-Boutchoué, may he rest in eternal peace. He was truly a kind, genuine diplomat and will be very missed.

Mr. President,

We thank Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing. We express appreciation for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General and Mr. Mladenov, including recent statements made in line with international law and relevant UN resolutions. While such statements should be considered standard, we are obliged to recognize them in view of the constant harassment and intimidation to which the UN and its representatives are exposed any time they risk taking a public, principled stand on our issue, as opposed to the artificial “balanced” stand that Israel, the occupying Power, bullies States into adopting, despite the absolute lack of symmetry in this abnormal, unjust situation. [Read more…]

23 April 2018 – Press Release

بيان صحفي

23 أبريل 2018

 

إفتتاح المتحف الفلسطيني الأول في الولايات المتحدة

تم افتتاح المتحف الفلسطيني الأول في الولايات المتحدة في ولاية كونيتيكت القريبة من مدينة نيويورك في 22 أبريل 2018، وذلك بحضور عدد كبير من أبناء الجالية الفلسطينية وأصدقائهم. وكان من ضمن الحضور أيضا السفير د. رياض منصور المندوب الدائم لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة الذي بدوره قدم لوحة فنية للسيد فيصل صالح، مؤسس المتحف الفلسطيني ومدير مجلس إدارته، تعبيرا عن تقدير القيادة الفلسطينية لجهده المتميز.

كما قدمت الفنانة التشكيلية سامية الحلبي كلمة هامة عن تاريخ الفن المعاصر في فلسطين ودرجة التقدم والرقي في هذا المجال منذ القرن الثامن عشر. وتزينت جدران المتحف بالاعمال الفلنية لمجموعة من الفنانين الفلسطينيين من داخل الوطن وخارجه، ومن ضمنها أعمال الفنانة [Read more…]

20 April 2018 – Update on the Deteriorating Situation in Gaza and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Excellency,

I write to you in follow-up of the letters conveyed to you over the past three weeks regarding the heightened tensions and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Regrettably, absent serious measures of accountability, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with its intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians, alongside all other of its illegal policies and practices propping up this illegal, half-century occupation.

For the fourth week in a row, Palestinian civilians, women, men and children, particularly in Gaza, continue to exercise their fundamental rights of expression, assembly, and association in the context of peaceful protests being held as part of the six-week “Great Return March” against the decades-long Israeli occupation, oppression and dispossession of our people.

Despite the peaceful nature of these protests, and in total disregard of international legal rules and norms, the Israeli occupying forces continue demonstrating the cruelty of their occupation machine, responding to the calls of unarmed civilians for freedom and justice with brutal and lethal force. These actions and the military orders commanding them are being perpetrated in direct violation of international law and in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as pointed out, inter alia, by UN human rights experts. In this regard, in a recent statement, they have stressed that the deaths and injuries since 30 March “appeared to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), The Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990) and the prohibitions in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 against willful killings and the serious injury of the protected population”, and cautioned that “the deadly use of force against demonstrators could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute.” [Read more…]

13 April 2018 – Situation of the Palestinian Civilian Population of the Gaza Strip

Excellency,

I write to you once again to reiterate our urgent appeals for the international community to take responsible and prompt action to stop the intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli occupying forces.

For the third week in a row, Palestinians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in Gaza, continue to engage in the “Great Return March”, a peaceful civilian protest against Israel’s illegal occupation, oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people for decades. Demonstrations continue in the hopes of drawing attention to the tragic plight and miseries of our people and garnering international pressure on Israel to lift its illegal, ten-year air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, end its occupation of Palestinian land and recognize the right of return for Palestine refugees. We recall in this regard that most of Gaza’s population is comprised of Palestinians who have been forcibly expelled from their homes and lands since 1948.

In launching this March, the Palestinian people have chosen a peaceful path to voice their demands in the face of decades of Israeli violence, colonization and cruelty. In this regard, we recall that the Palestinian people have every right to protest Israel’s illegal occupation and oppression. Peaceful protest is a legitimate exercise of the rights of freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and Israel, as the occupying power, is obligated to protect and respect the human rights of the Palestinians living under its occupation.

Yet, in total disregard and violation of these established rules and principles of international law, peaceful Palestinian protestors continue to be deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers, who have been instructed to fire live ammunition from snipers, rubber coated steel bullets, stun and tear gas canisters from drones against innocent civilians. We condemn in the strongest terms the willful killing and injuring of civilians, which amounts to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. [Read more…]

6 April 2018 – Continued Israeli Aggression Against Palestinian Peaceful Protesters

Excellency,

I am compelled to write to you once again, in light of Israel’s crimes today against Palestinian peaceful demonstrators killing, so far, 8 civilians and injuring more than 1000, including through the widespread use of live ammunition. This brings the number of demonstrators killed in Gaza since the “Great March of Return” began last Friday to 27 and the number of wounded throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory to more than 2500.

The names of those killed today are Alaa El Din Yahya El Zamili, 17, Majdi Ramadan Shabat, 38, Hussein Mohammad Madhi, 16, Osama Khamees Qadiyeh, 38, Ibrahim Al Ourr, 20, Sidqi Faraj Abu Outawi, 45, Sobhi Abu Outawi, 20 and Mohammad Said Musa Al Haj Saleh, 33. Thaer Mohammed Rabaa, 30, succumbed to the wounds he sustained last week.

We reiterate that the “Great Return March” is a peaceful protest against dispossession and displacement, occupation and blockade.

As stated by the Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell, “Given the large number of injuries and deaths, the ominous statements made by Israeli authorities in the days leading up to the protest, as well as indications that the individuals killed or wounded were unarmed or did not pose a serious threat to well-protected security forces – and in some cases were actually running away from the green line fence – there are strong indications that security forces used excessive force.” These elements combined provide strong evidence of Israel’s premeditated decision to target civilians and resort to unlawful lethal force in utter contempt yet again for its obligations and the rules of international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and for basic humanity. [Read more…]

3 April 2018 – Follow-up to Israeli Crimes in Gaza

Excellency,

I write to you to reiterate our urgent appeals that all possible measures be undertaken by the international community to provide immediate protection to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the entire Occupied State of Palestine, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip, against repeated military aggression and attacks perpetuated by Israel, the occupying Power.  Israel’s latest crimes against Palestinian peaceful demonstrators that took place this past Friday, 30 March 2018, are a tragic reminder of the urgency of international action to avail such protection.

It is undeniable that the historic lack of accountability has fostered Israel’s belief that it is above the law and will suffer no consequences for any of its crimes against the Palestinian people it holds hostage under its occupation.  Because of this impunity, 18 more Palestinians were killed by the occupying Power this past Friday and more than 1,500 others were wounded, including more than 750 by live ammunition and 148 by rubber-coated steel bullets.

The Palestinians that were killed or injured were exercising their right to peaceful protest, by taking part in the first day of a six-week peaceful campaign called the “Great Return March.” Before, during and after the protests, the organizers of the campaign had expressed clearly the peaceful nature of the protests which were intended to raise international awareness to Israel’s illegal, inhumane and immoral ten-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, and to support Palestine refugees’ legitimate right to return. However, the occupying Power had once again, in a premeditated manner, adopted a shoot-to-kill policy. [Read more…]

30 March 2018 – The Killing of Palestinian Civilians on Land Day

Excellency,

I write to bring to your urgent and immediate attention to the dangerous situation unfolding on the ground in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, due to the escalation of Israel’s latest campaign of military aggression and attacks against the civilian population.   In particular, the occupying Power has intensified its onslaught against the besieged Gaza Strip in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

As we write this letter, at least 15 Palestinian civilians have been killed, and more than 1,400 injured, many of them seriously.  The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip threatens to further destabilize the situation on the ground and to fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence by Israel. This demands the attention of the international community, particularly the Security Council, which is duty-bound to act to maintain international peace and security. This also demands that our repeated request for international protection for our people be immediately provided in order to avert more bloodshed and to save innocent Palestinian lives. [Read more…]