6 November 2014 – Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee), Agenda Item 51: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Mr. Chair,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I express our deep appreciation to the members of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.  We thank Ambassador Palitha Kohona of Sri Lanka, Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Hussein Haniff of Malaysia and Ambassador Fode` Seck of Senegal for their efforts and for the report (A/69/355) submitted on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan and the serious recommendations made therein.

We also thank the Secretary-General and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the comprehensive reports prepared pursuant to the General Assembly resolutions regarding “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (A/69/348) and “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” (A/69/347). These reports attest to a systematic pattern of human rights violations as a result of the illegal, oppressive and destructive policies and measures that continue to be carried out by Israel, the occupying Power. [Read more...]

5 November 2014 – Jerusalem: Continued Israeli Provocations and Illegal Settlements


I have been instructed to once again draw your urgent attention to the critical situation and dangerously rising tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem due to the continuation of illegal actions, consisting of provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, including in particular by right-wing Israeli government officials, extremist settlers and religious zealots, against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy places.  Provocations and incitement have intensified in both frequency and aggressiveness in the recent weeks and continue to aggravate religious sensitivities and the fragile and volatile situation on the ground, threatening to precipitate a religious conflict and to plunge the region into further instability and violence.

For the second time in a week, Israeli occupying forces sealed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, preventing the entry of Palestinian worshippers.  This provocative action set off another round of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli extremists, who continue to agitate at this Holy Site. In what can only be seen as a clear attempt to stoke already-high tensions, early this morning, a group of Israeli extremists, protected by more than 300 Israeli occupying forces, stormed the compound firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian worshippers, causing serious injuries to at least 30 people, inflicting serious injuries on two of the worshippers.  Moreover, it was reported that Israeli extremists entered Al-Aqsa mosque with their shoes on in a shameful sign of disrespect and with the purpose to infuriate Palestinian worshippers while eyewitnesses at the scene reported that occupying forces threw books of the Holy Quran on the floor. [Read more...]

4 November 2014 – Statement by Rabii Hantouli on Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

كلمة ربيع الحنتولي، المستشار أول، البعثة المراقبة الدائمة لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة، أمام اللجنة الإقتصادية والمالية (اللجنة الثانية) حول البند 60 ” السيادة الدائمة للشعب الفلسطيني في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما فيها القدس الشرقية، وللسكان العرب في الجولان السوري المحتل على مواردهم الطبيعية”،  الدورة 69 للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة، نيويورك،            4 نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني 2014.

السيد الرئيس،

أود في البداية أن أتقدم بإسم فلسطين بالتهنئة الصادقة لكم على توليكم رئاسة هذه اللجنة، وكذلك إلى أعضاء المكتب الموقرين، كما أتقدم بالشكر إلى السكرتارية على عملها الدؤوب. وِاسمحو لي أيضا أن أشكر السيدة ريما خلف، الأمينة التنفيذية للجنة الإقتصادية والإجتماعية لغربي آسيا (الإسكوا)، على تقديمها لتقرير الأمين العام المعد من قبل الإسكوا والمعنون “الإنعكاسات الإقتصادية والإجتماعية للإحتلال الإسرائيلي على الأحوال المعيشية للشعب الفلسطيني في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما فيها القدس الشرقية، وللسكان العرب في الجولان السوري المحتل”، والوارد في الوثيقة رقم  A/69/81-E/2014/13.

السيد الرئيس، [Read more...]

30 October 2014 – Closure of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Killings in East Jerusalem


The Security Council emergency session that was convened yesterday to address the crisis in Occupied East Jerusalem underscored the unanimous international concerns and condemnations regarding the provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, and its extremist settlers at holy sites in the City, as well as the illegality of Israeli settlement activities and all other measures aimed at altering the demography, character and status of the City.

All were in agreement about the gravity and the many dangers of the continuation of this illegal situation. And, all were in agreement about the urgent need to immediately diffuse tensions and to avert any further aggravation of religious sensitivities by ensuring respect for Holy Sites, with particular focus on Al-Haram Al-Sharif, home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which continues to be targeted by Israeli provocation and incitement, and the need to uphold the historic status quo in this regard. [Read more...]

29 October 2014 – Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Situation in Occupied East Jerusalem

Mme. President,

I thank you for your swift response to our urgent appeal and to the formal request by Jordan, the Arab representative on the Security Council, to convene this emergency meeting to address the critical situation in Occupied East Jerusalem, which clearly has bearing on the crisis situation in the rest of Palestine as well as in the region and far beyond.

Mme. President,

Jerusalem, the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions, was and remains the key to peace.  The City is the heart of Palestine and has historically been the religious, political, social, economic and cultural center for the Palestinian people for centuries.  And, Jerusalem, a theater for both conflict and peace, has always maintained an Arab and Islamic identity, and it will remain so.

Yet, Jerusalem is under siege, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues the reckless attempts to change its character, falsify its history, alter its demography, and negate Palestinian rights and connection to Jerusalem.  Israeli provocations and incitement, particularly at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, home to the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock), are further inflaming this volatile situation, aggravating religious sentiments, deepening mistrust, and threatening to ignite yet another cycle of violence, including instigation of religious conflict. Such illegal Israeli actions are severely exacerbating the conflict and obstructing a peaceful solution, with grave implications.

We have thus been instructed by President Mahmoud Abbas to bring this crisis situation to the urgent attention of the Security Council, in full recognition of its Charter duty for the maintenance of international peace and security. [Read more...]

27 October 2014 – Israeli Provocations and Settlements Occupied East Jerusalem


I write to urgently draw your attention, yet again, to the dangerously escalating tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine.  The illegal policies and the constant provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, and its settlers and other extremists against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy places are exacerbating already-high tensions, risking further turmoil and destabilization of the extremely fragile situation on the ground, as reflected in the growing number of protests and clashes, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem.

In grave breach of international law and in total contempt of the repeated international demands for cessation, Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal settlement campaign, which is clearly aimed at entrenching its illegitimate control over the Palestinian land it has belligerently occupied since 1967 and systematically destroying the two-State solution. This relentless colonization campaign has been most flagrant in Occupied East Jerusalem, with continued seizure of Palestinian properties, violent attacks on Palestinian civilians, demolition of Palestinian homes, forced displacement of Palestinian residents of the City, and provocative declarations regarding the construction of settlements. [Read more...]

20 October 2014 – Terrorist Settler run over and kill 5 year old Palestinian girl


Pursuant to my letter of 14 October 2014, I am compelled to place on record our absolute condemnation of the criminal, deadly actions being perpetrated by extremist terrorist settlers illegally transferred by Israel, the occupying Power, to the Palestinian land, as well as continued Israeli incitement and provocations against holy sites, in particular in East Jerusalem, in what appear to be a deliberate attempts to exacerbate already-volatile tensions and create further instability.

On a nearly daily basis, Israeli settlers continue with their terror rampages, persisting with attacks on Palestinian civilians, destruction of properties, and theft of land and natural resources.  The latest terrorist crime by a settler occurred yesterday, 20 October 2014, when a setter ran over two young girls who were walking home from school in the West Bank town of Sinjil  in a so-called “hit and run” accident.  Kindergarten student Inas Khalil, age 5, and Nilin Asfour, age 8, had just gotten off the school bus and were walking to their mothers who were waiting for them on the opposite side of the street when an Israeli settler’s car rammed directly at them and sped away.  Inas and Nilin were both rushed to the hospital.   Tragically, 5-year-old Inas was pronounced dead a couple of hours later, while Nilin still remains in critical condition.  We condemn this brutal act of Israeli settler terrorism, and we call on the international community to unequivocally condemn this and all other such attacks and terror against Palestinian children under Israeli occupation. [Read more...]

14 October 2014 – Clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Israeli Violations


I write to alert you to the critical situation and continuously rising tensions in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israel’s relentless illegal policy and oppressive actions against the Palestinian people. On a daily basis, the occupying Power persists with its grave violations of international law, including rampant settlement activities, dispossession of Palestinian civilians, violent military raids, including into schools, daily detention and arrest of Palestinians, constant provocations, including incitement at holy sites and destruction of Palestinian property by extremist Israeli settlers, as well as the illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip.  All of these violations are exacerbating already-volatile conditions and heightening tensions, which threaten to completely destabilize the situation on the ground.

I would first wish to draw your attention to Israel’s incitement and provocations against holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, namely at Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) which houses the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock).  In yet another dangerous development, yesterday, 13 October, right-wing Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of the Prime Minister’s party, Moshe Feiglin, protected by hundreds of Israeli occupying forces, yet again entered Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading to violent clashes, with innocent Palestinian worshippers injured by stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets.   It should be noted that Feiglin is a controversial figure whose provocative and racist words and actions against the Palestinian people have been the source of repeated incitement.  He is well-known for his advocacy for Palestinian displacement and hate-filled speeches openly made against Palestinians and Arabs as a whole.

It should be mentioned that this latest provocation comes on the heels of clashes that occurred last week when Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and forcibly removed worshippers, attacking some of them with clubs, and firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.   Some of the stun grenades were fired into Al-Aqsa Mosque itself, causing a fire to break out and causing damage to the holy site.  Moreover, the occupying Power had even locked Palestinian worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing them from leaving.  It is transparent and as was stated by Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), that Israel is attempting to create a new reality at the expense of the Palestinians, their religious rights, sites and historical identity and are violating the sanctity of religious sites without consequence.

We reiterate the dangers of such continuous provocations and incitement in or near Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first qibla and third holiest site in Islam.  Further provocations will only inflame already-high tensions and anger among the Palestinian people and beyond, with dangerous ramifications.  In this regard, we underscore the importance of clear messages of condemnation andrejection of such violations and provocations, such as those made recently by Your Excellency “deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem” adding that “these only inflame tensions and must stop.”  It should be also noted that the occupying Power is carrying out the same illegal actions in relation to Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron) where worshipers are continuously prevented from praying inside by Israeli occupying forces and settlers.

Accordingly, all such acts of incitement against the holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as acts of provocation against the Palestinian people by the occupying Power, whether it be by the Government of Israel, its occupying forces or its illegal settlers, warrant serious and immediate attention by the international community, including by the Security Council, in line with its primary Charter duty for the maintenance of international peace and security and in line with its numerous relevant resolutions calling for a cessation of all Israeli measures aimed at altering the character, legal status and demography of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including of East Jerusalem.

In this regard, serious attention must be given to the continuing rampages of terror being perpetrated by Israeli settlers, persisting with attacks on Palestinian civilians, destruction of properties, and theft of land and natural resources.  Yesterday, 13 October, several Palestinians were injured when clashes broke out as more than 300 Israeli settlers, escorted by hundreds of Israeli occupying forces, broke into the holy site of Joseph’s tomb in Nablus to perform religious rituals. One Palestinian was shot and injured and many others were seriously hurt, including a 16-year-old boy. In addition, on 9 October, Israeli settlers uprooted and destroyed dozens of Palestinian olive trees near the village of Hosan, west of Bethlehem. Settler lawlessness and the failure of the Israeli Government to reign them in and hold them accountable for their crimes starkly reflects Israel’s complete disinterest in peace based on the two-State solution.  I also wish to bring to your attention the fact that the occupying Power continues with its inhumane and illegal policy of evicting Palestinian families.  Last week, the occupying Power, served eviction orders to 20 families living in Al-Burj and Al-Ras Al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley.

 At this time, I would like to turn your attention to the humanitarian disaster that still exists in the occupied Gaza Strip following the more than 50-day criminal Israeli military aggression, which wrought massive human devastation and physical destruction in all areas.  In this regard, we welcome the successful convening and conclusion of the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Gaza hosted by Egypt and Norway in Cairo and express our hope that the generous donations pledged will be rapidly disbursed for the urgently needed reconstruction to commence under the supervision of the Palestinian National Consensus Government in collaboration with the United Nations.  We also continue to reiterate our calls for the full lifting of the Israeli blockade for reconstruction and rehabilitation without delay and for the Palestinian people in Gaza to truly begin to rebuild their lives and communities.

 Given the above, we call on the international community, including the Security Council, to give immediate attention to the rising tensions and the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem.  Serious efforts must be made to demand and ensure Israel’s compliance with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the will of the international community before the situation further deteriorates. To remain silent in the face of such gross violations is unacceptable and will only bolster Israel’s impunity and send the wrong message to the occupying Power that it can continue to flout international law as it wishes without consequence.  The time has to come to bring an end to Israel’s almost five decade old occupation and to all of its crimes against the unprotected Palestinian civilian population and their land.

This letter is in follow-up to our 523 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 2 October  2014 (A/ES-10/659-S/2014/716) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the  State of Palestine to the United Nations

21 October 2014 – Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, 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

Mme. President,

I congratulate the friendly country of Argentina on its presidency of the Security Council this month and express our appreciation for your able leadership of the Council’s efforts to address the many critical issues on its agenda at this time.

I also express our appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his important briefing and deep gratitude for his dedicated peace efforts. We are grateful for your leadership of the United Nations delegation to the “Cairo International Conference on Palestine – Reconstructing Gaza” and for your recent visit to the State of Palestine, including to the Gaza Strip, where you witnessed firsthand the massive destruction and devastation wrought by the Israeli military aggression in July and August and the suffering that continues in the absence of real recovery, reconstruction and sustainable solutions to core issues of this conflict.

We have long appealed for the Security Council members to visit Palestine to see unfiltered these realities and the grave injustice being endured by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.  We are certain this would better inform the Council’s deliberations and compel greater resolve to contribute to a viable solution through implementation of the Council’s resolutions and in line with its Charter duty for international peace and security.  As noted by the Secretary-General during his visit to Gaza, “No amount of Security Council sessions, reports or briefings could have prepared me for what I witnessed today”.  At this critical time, we again appeal for such a visit by the Council, stressing the imperative of salvaging the prospects for Palestinian-Israeli peace.   [Read more...]

20 October 2014 – Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, before the Sixth Committee: Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts

Mr. Chair,

Since this is the first time my delegation speaks in this committee, I’d like to express my delegations congratulations to you on your election as chair of this committee and to all the members of the bureau.

Mr. Chair,

The State of Palestine is deeply committed to ensuring respect for and adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL). The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols provide a necessary and fundamental framework for parties in armed conflict, including situations of foreign occupation, by providing protections to civilians and imposing restraints on military conduct. 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. [Read more...]