Press Release (Arabic), 13 December 2019

بيان صحفي

13 ديسمبر 2019

الجمعية العامة تعتمد بأغلبية ساحقة قرارات لصالح فلسطين

إعتمدت الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة اليوم بأغلبية ساحقة (بناء على توصية اللجنة الرابعة التابعة لها والمعنية بالمسائل السياسية الخاصة وإنهاء الإستعمار) قرارات تتعلق بوكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل لاجئي فلسطين في الشرق الأدنى (الأونروا)، وباللجنة الخاصة المعنية بالتحقيق في الممارسات الإسرائيلية التي تمس حقوق الإنسان للشعب الفلسطيني وغيره من السكان العرب في الأراضي المحتلة.

وحول القرارات المتعلقة ببند وكالة الأونروا، إعتمدت الجمعية العامة قرار “تقديم المساعدة إلى اللاجئين الفلسطينيين” وهو قرار تمديد ولاية الأونروا، بأغلبية )170( دولة لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (2) إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة، وإمتناع (9) دولة عن التصويت،.

كما إعتمدت الجمعية العامة قرار “النازحون نتيجة لأعمال القتال التي نشبت في يونيو/حزيران 1967 وأعمال القتال التالية”، بأغلبية (162) صوتاً لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (7) دول من ضمنها  إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وكندا، وإمتناع (11) دول عن التصويت.

كما تم إعتماد قرار “عمليات وكالة الأونروا” بأغلبية (167) صوتا لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (6) دول من ضمنها إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وكندا، وإمتناع (7) دول عن التصويت.

وإعتمدت الجمعية العامة قرار “ممتلكات اللاجئين الفلسطينيين والإيرادات الآتية منها” بأغلبية (163) صوتا لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (7) دول، من ضمنها إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وكندا، وإمتناع (12) دول عن التصويت.

وبخصوص القرارات المتعلقة ببند اللجنة الخاصة المعنية بالتحقيق في الممارسات الإسرائيلية التي تمس حقوق الانسان للشعب الفلسطيني وغيره من السكان العرب في الأراضي المحتلة، إعتمدت الجمعية العامة قرار “أعمال اللجنة الخاصة المعنية بالتحقيق في الممارسات الإسرائيلية التي تمس حقوق الانسان للشعب الفلسطيني وغيره من السكان العرب في الأراضي المحتلة” بأغلبية (81) لصالح القرار ومعارضة (13) دول، من ضمنها إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وكندا، وإمتناع (80) دولة عن التصويت.

كما تم إعتماد قرار “المستوطنات الإسرائيلية في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما فيها القدس الشرقية، والجولان السوري المحتل” بأغلبية (156) صوتاً لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (6) دول من ضمنها إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وكندا، وإمتناع (15) دول عن التصويت.

وإعتمدت الجمعية العامة قرار “الممارسات الإسرائيلية التي تمس حقوق الإنسان للشعب الفلسطيني في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما فيها القدس الشرقية” بأغلبية (157) صوتاً لصالح القرار، ومعارضة (9) دول من ضمنها إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة واستراليا وكندا، وامتناع (13) دول عن التصويت.

وصرح الدكتور رياض منصور، المندوب الدائم لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة، أن هذه التصويتات بأغلبية ساحقة في الجمعية العامة والتي زادت عن نسبة التصويت الذي سبق في اللجنة الرابعة، يؤكد أن العالم بأغلبيته المطلقة لا يزال ملتفاُ حول المواقف العادلة لشعب فلسطين وقضيته وملتفاً حول القانون الدولي والشرعية الدولية، وهذا ما نثمنه عالياً كشعب فلسطين وقيادته.

11 December 2019 – Illegal Israeli Settlement Activities and Annexation Threats

Excellency,

I write to draw the international community’s attention once again to escalating illegal Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that are continuing to inflict hardship and suffering on the Palestinian civilian population and undermining peace prospects, making them more remote than ever.

In the period since my last letter, more Palestinian families have lost their lands and their homes to the occupation’s unrelenting colonization and de facto annexation, especially in and around Occupied East Jerusalem; more civilians have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured; more innocents, including children and women and including peaceful protesters, have been killed and maimed by occupying forces and extremist settlers; and more families have been devastated by the inhumane siege on Gaza and other measures of collective punishment imposed by the occupying Power. With that, the Palestinian people’s hopes that this illegal occupation will end and that their rights, including to self-determination and freedom, and that a just peace can soon be realized have only further diminished.

Such rising despair is stoking already high tensions and exacerbating an already toxic, dangerous environment. We urge the international community to give this situation the urgent attention that it requires, commensurate with the political, legal and moral responsibilities and commitments to ensure a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In this regard, as the Security Council prepares to consider its last quarterly report of 2019 on implementation of resolution 2334 (2016) and on the heels of the General Assembly’s overwhelming adoption of its resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”, it is unquestionable that lack of implementation and lack of accountability for the ongoing grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, have hastened the situation’s steep deterioration. Emboldened by lack of accountability and continuing appeasement, Israeli government officials continue to pursue unlawful policies and destructive actions, even boasting of their intent to breach international law.

Last week, the Israeli Prime Minister threatened annexation once again, declaring on 5 December that Israel has the “full right” to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, if it so decides, blatantly dismissing the international prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force. Also, last week, the Israeli government announced plans to establish a new Israeli settlement in the heart of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in the Old City on Shuhada Street. There the city’s central market and its thriving economic and social life had once existed, but from which Palestinians were forcibly driven out and banned from accessing after a 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinians by an extremist Israeli settler, who shot and killed them during morning prayers at the Ibrahim Mosque in the city.

Such provocative and illegal plans cannot go unchallenged. They must be roundly condemned and Israel, the occupying Power, must be demanded to respect its legal obligations, including under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant Security Council resolutions, and to halt all of its settlement activities and de facto annexation measures immediately and completely. This is imperative for de-escalating tensions, stemming the deterioration of the situation and salvaging peace prospects.

It is clear, as flaunted by Israeli Ministers, that this latest colonization scheme aims at creating a contiguous bloc of settlements in the Old City that will double the Israeli settler population there. At least 700 Israeli settlers have already been illegally transferred to the city among more than 200,000 Palestinians residing there. This Palestinian population continues to live under the most oppressive and coercive conditions imposed by the Israeli occupying forces and the majority of those settlers, who are known to be religious extremists and fanatics.

In fact, after the 1994 massacre, most of the Palestinian families were subsequently expelled from their homes on Shuhada Street and their shops were shuttered and welded shut by the occupying forces. Many of the empty homes were then seized by extremist settlers and some of the homes still occupied by Palestinians were later seized by force. While Israelis and internationals may freely access the area, the few Palestinian families that still live there must cross through military checkpoints to access their own homes and routinely endure harassment, intimidation and violence by extremist settlers. This situation has been thoroughly monitored and documented by the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), UN-OCHA and by numerous human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the Israeli organizations B’tselem and Breaking the Silence, among others.

Such provocative, illegal plans expose once again the glaring fact that, although the massacre was perpetrated by an Israeli settler, who continues to be glorified and revered by extremist settler groups, it was the Palestinian population that was punished and remains without redress and justice as the occupying Power continues to act with total impunity, shamelessly exploiting the international community’s ongoing failure to hold accountable.

While recognizing the very clear and overwhelming rejection by the international community of such illegal policies and actions, as attested to most recently in the Security Council on 20 November with the near-unanimous reaffirmation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Charter principles as regards Israel’s illegal settlement activities and annexation threats, it is clear that such statements are not enough.

We reiterate the urgency of concrete action and measures to hold Israel accountable for its flagrant contempt of the Council and continuing violations against the Palestinian people and in their land. Such violations are causing profound human suffering and destroying the viability and possibility of actualizing the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, and contradict the longstanding international consensus on the parameters for just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace and security.

We call once again on the international community, and particularly the Security Council, to uphold the obligations in this regard. The Security Council must implement its resolutions without exception, including resolution 2334 (2016), which called, inter alia, for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as the cessation of all acts of provocation, incitement, violence and terror against civilians. The Council cannot continue to neglect its Charter duties when it comes to the Palestine question. A future of peace, security and stability for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and the Middle East region as a whole is dependent on this.

This letter is in follow-up to our 677 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 18 November 2019 (A/ES-10/–/2019/–), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

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

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

12 November 2019 – Extrajudicial Assassinations Perpetrated by Israel

Excellency,

I write to urgently draw the international community’s attention to Israel’s escalation of military aggression against the Palestinian people under its occupation, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip. This most recent unlawful military aggression risks the outbreak of another deadly and destructive cycle of violence, endangering the lives of millions of innocent civilians.

This must be averted at all costs and international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld to protect civilian life and prevent the further deterioration of this already volatile and dangerous situation.

This latest escalation began in the early morning hours of today, 12 November, when Israeli occupying forces carried out an extrajudicial assassination of a Palestinian man in an airstrike targeting his home in the Shuj’aiya neighborhood of Gaza City, which also killed his wife and seriously injured his four children and also injured a woman in a neighboring home. That attack was followed by several other missile strikes on different locations in the Gaza Strip, killing another three Palestinians and injuring more than 30 other Palestinian civilians at the time of the writing of this letter.

These attacks are causing widespread fear and trauma throughout the entire civilian population being inhumanely held captive under Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade, with nowhere to escape or shelter from the onslaught. Life in Gaza has come to a standstill, with schools, universities and institutions shuttered, as the defenseless Palestinian civilian population braces for the possibility of another full-scale deadly, military aggression and campaign of terror by the occupying Power that will only bring more death, destruction and misery to so many innocents.

The Palestinian leadership condemns these criminal attacks, as well as all attacks that preceded it, including the cold-blooded murder of a 22-year old Palestinian man yesterday by Israeli occupying forces in the Arroub refugee camp in Al-Khalil (Hebron). This constant perpetration of violence by Israel, its occupying forces and settlers, against Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, must be stopped. We reiterate our call for the immediate protection of the Palestinian people in accordance with international law, including the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and the lofty commitments repeatedly made by the international community to protect civilians in all cases.

There cannot be one standard for the entire world and an exception made for Israel, which continues to violate human rights and impose a protection crisis on the Palestinian people under its illegal occupation with absolute impunity. A clear message must be sent to the occupying Power that it is bound by the same rules of international law that all other States are bound by without exception.

Today’s criminal attack, which was planned by Israeli government and military constitutes wanton killing officials at the highest level with deliberate intent to cause death and injury, including to women and children, a grave breach of international law, a war crime. Those responsible for this crime and all the other war crimes that have been, and are being, perpetrated against the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In closing, we reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement and terror against civilians.

This letter is in follow-up to our 676 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 21 October 2019 (A/ES-10/–/2019/–), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

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

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

Statement by H.E. Dr. Riyad Mansour, Minister, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, “The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question”, 28 October 2019

Mr. President,

I wish to begin by expressing our congratulations and appreciation to the Republic of South Africa for its most able leadership of the Security Council in this month of its presidency.

We thank the UN Special Coordinator and Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his briefing on the current situation in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

Mr. President,

Every month, we come before the Security Council appealing for it to act to ensure implementation of its resolutions on the Palestine question, certain that only such action can bring us all back from the brink, stopping the senseless, painful human suffering being caused by this man-made crisis and salvaging the prospects for a just peace. Yet, every month we are compelled to listen to reports of a worsening situation, as Israel, the occupying Power, intensifies its illegal occupation and colonization of our land and a political horizon for a peaceful solution remains obstructed.

It cannot be that the role of this august Council is reduced to that of a gathering for the airing of grievances, statements of sympathy and solidarity, as important as they are, and helpless hand-wringing. The Palestinian people and global community at large expect, and await, more. The Security Council’s Charter mandate to maintain international peace and security surely requires more.

As the calls to preserve multilateralism against current threats grow, shoring up the Security Council’s role in the peaceful resolution of conflicts must be front and center. This requires urgent action to uphold and enforce international law, aimed at halting violations, deterring future violations, and fostering an environment conducive for the pursuit and achievement of peace.

In the case of Palestine, the Council’s relevant resolutions – from resolution 2334 (2016) to all the resolutions preceding it – provide a solid basis for such action. The international consensus is firm, and attempts to alter or negate it have failed. Indeed, we have often heard that, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is no need to reinvent the wheel; international law is clear, the parameters of a just solution are clear, and there is no alternative to the vision of two-States based on the 1967 lines and in accordance with international law, the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principle of land-for-peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap.

But, in the absence of serious action to give tangible meaning to this consensus, the alternative is rapidly unfolding before our eyes and it is one of an apartheid State in control of the lives of millions who are being oppressively, violently and unjustly deprived of their fundamental rights, even the right to live as free and equal human beings.

Mr. President,

After over 52 years of this illegal occupation and the cruel exile imposed on millions of Palestinians for over seven decades, it is clear that he failure to achieve a solution is not for lack of attention to the conflict or lack of resolutions; it is for lack of genuine efforts to uphold the rules, decisions and humanitarian commitments repeatedly pledged.

As concluded by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in his latest report, “no occupation in the modern world has been conducted with the international community so alert to its many grave breaches of international law, so knowledgeable about the occupier’s obvious and well-signaled intent to annex and establish permanent sovereignty, so well-informed about the scale of suffering and dispossession endured by the protected population under occupation, and yet so unwilling to act upon the overwhelming evidence before it to employ the tangible and plentiful legal and political tools at its disposal to end the injustice.”

Without accountability, the deplorable situation we have faced will surely only worsen, paving the way for more suffering and insecurity for all, with innocent civilians, among them children and women, bearing the heaviest and most heartbreaking weight of the international community’s negligence.

Indeed, despite decades of global attention, none of Israel’s violations in Occupied Palestine have stopped. Whether the colonization or de facto annexation of our land by all means, the settlements and wall being the most insidious; the inhumane 12-year blockade and collective punishment of 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, inflicting devastating poverty and despair; the killing and injury of defenseless Palestinian civilians by the occupying forces and extremist settlers; the destruction of homes and properties and forced displacement of Palestinian families, especially in Occupied East Jerusalem, with 140 homes demolished in the City in 2019 alone, rendering homeless 238 Palestinians, more than half of them children; the dangerous provocations and assaults at holy sites; the imprisonment and detention of thousands of our civilians; or the blatant theft of our natural and financial resources – all continue unabated.

The fact is that the occupying Power has been led to believe it has carte blanche to act as a State above the law, going so far as to openly threaten to annex our land in flagrant breach of the universal prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force. With or without a formal government, Israeli politicians and candidates shamelessly compete as to who can be more brutal and punishing to the Palestinians and who can cater more to extremist Israeli groups, who will never be satiated, as evident in their daily terror campaign against our civilians, incitement, and rabid land grabs.

Nothing else could be expected in the absence of consequences for such grave violations by this most protracted foreign occupation in modern history. Only accountability can change this.

Mr. President,

We thus once again appeal to the Security Council and all States to act. We urge you to mobilize the political will to fulfill your obligations by taking practical measures, in line with international law and the relevant resolutions, the guarantors of just and sustainable peace and security.

The Security Council must shoulder its responsibilities and act immediately in line with its resolutions to bring about a halt to this occupation’s crimes, avert further destabilization, protect innocent civilians, and salvage the chances for peace. States, inter-governmental organizations and civil society must also uphold their respective roles and responsibilities.

Should Israel continue to defy the Council and will of the international community, it must bear the consequences of its violations. All legitimate political and legal tools and measures available – including sanctions and prosecution in courts – must be pursued to ensure accountability.

This must include action pursuant to the call for distinction in resolution 2334 (2016) and other relevant resolutions, including, inter alia, resolution 478 (1980) on Jerusalem and resolution 465 (1980), in which the Council clearly called on all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with its settlements in the territories occupied since 1967.

We urge States to take concrete steps in this regard, in both multilateral and bilateral frameworks, in conformity with their legal obligations and affirmed support for the two-State solution. We reiterate our call for release of the database on businesses engaged in activities related to the illegal settlements, which was mandated by the Human Rights Council and will help States to uphold their obligations.

States also have a duty of non-recognition of any decisions or measures altering or purporting to alter the geographic, demographic, character or status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the law, including the 4th Geneva Convention. All such decisions and measures must be deemed unlawful, null and void and should incur consequences if not rescinded. Also, the legal and historic status quo at the holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, including Al-Haram Al-Sharif, must be respected, as well as Jordan’s custodianship for the Muslim and Christian holy sites.

Lastly, we reiterate our call for continued principled support for the rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and freedom. Until they are realized, we continue our appeals for humanitarian assistance to alleviate the plight of our people, including Palestine refugees, and to ensure that they are not left behind. We recognize with deep gratitude the generous international support in this regard through UNRWA and urge strong backing for renewal of its mandate, an important expression of responsibility and solidarity and an indispensable source of hope and stability until a just solution for the Palestine refugees is realized based on resolution 194 (II).

Only such determined, collective and coordinated action can move us from deadlock to progress towards finally bringing an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, fulfilling the Palestinian people’s right to independence in their sovereign, contiguous, democratic State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace and security, the cornerstone for peace and security in the Middle East, as per the longstanding international consensus.

For the sake of peace, the benefit of all peoples of the region and the authority of international law, we must together act to change course, restore hope and attain a just and comprehensive peace. Failure to do so will have far-reaching repercussions, unraveling decades of efforts and resources invested for our shared, noble goals of peace, stability and human dignity. We must not let another generation suffer this injustice.

I thank you, Mr. President.

21 October 2019 – Israeli Settler Aggressions at Al-Aqsa Mosque and against Palestinian Civilians

Excellency,

I am compelled to draw your urgent attention to ongoing and escalating aggressions by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in their land and their homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, actions which continue to cause immense human suffering and to aggravate tensions, risking further destabilization of this situation, which continues to pose a threat to international peace and security.Violent attacks against civilians, destruction of property, and appalling acts of incitement and provocation, including at holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, are being perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and extremist Israeli settlers in violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and in grave violation of Israel’s obligations under the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which specifically calls for an end to Israel’s settlement activities and an end to all acts of violence, provocation and incitement.

Such violations have no doubt been bolstered by the Israeli government’s rising threats of annexation and incessant acts of settlement colonization, the engine of this illegal occupation. Of gravest concern have been the repeated aggressions by Israeli settlers at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, and continues to be a flashpoint for such aggressive, illegal behavior. This has involved repeated attacks against Palestinian worshippers and other acts of provocation and incitement, including mounting rhetoric for takeover of the holy site by radical Jewish extremists.

This Sunday, 20 October, witnessed yet another such violent incursion by approximately 400 extremist settlers at the holy site, who provoked Muslim worshippers at the site with their inflammatory rhetoric and hostile behavior. It is estimated by the Islamic Waqf that more than 2,700 settlers have carried out incursions at the holy site since the Jewish holiday of Sukkot began last week. And, yet again, they were accompanied and protected by Israeli occupying forces, who also attacked the worshippers and prevented them from entering the holy site. 

At a time of heightened awareness in the international community about the need to protect religious sites and worshippers from such extremist attacks, it is shocking that this occurs on a near daily basis at Al-Haram Al-Sharif without consequence for the perpetrators and with little to no regard for the great risks posed by such provocative and violent actions despite our repeated warnings. We thus warn once again about the dangers of outbreak of a religious conflict that would have far-reaching implications for regional and international peace and security, and call once again for full respect of the historic and legal status quo at this holy site and for full respect of all relevant UN resolutions.

I must also draw attention to continuing intimidation and assaults by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. OCHA has reported at least 243 incidents where Israeli settlers have killed, injured or damaged Palestinian property thus far in 2019. Escalating attacks are being carried out in the context of our olive harvest season, which is a central economic, social and cultural event for the Palestinian people every autumn and which is routinely exploited by Israeli settlers to harass and attack Palestinians and assert their illegal presence and control.

Under the watch of occupying forces, armed and fanatic settlers have been attacking defenseless Palestinian farmers and families across the occupied West Bank, from areas in the north in Jenin and Tulkarem, to Nablus and Ramallah, to the areas in the south in Bethlehem and Al-Khalil (Hebron). Recent attacks have involved the physical assault and injury of Palestinian civilians, including children, the burning and uprooting of more than a hundred olive trees, and the stoning and vandalizing of homes and vehicles, terrorizing the population and destroying livelihoods. Rather than protecting the occupied civilian population, as obliged under IHL, the occupying forces have done nothing to stop the settler attacks, instead detaining Palestinians, including children, as well as international supporters, and forcing farmers to leave their lands, preventing harvest of their crops.

Coupled with the rise in destruction of Palestinian properties – estimated by OCHA to be 40% higher than the same period in 2018 – the coercive environment caused by this illegal occupation is becoming unbearable for our civilian population. Following the demolition of 10 residential buildings, comprising 70 homes, in the Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, recent weeks witnessed the demolition of another 31 Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank, rendering homeless another 52 civilians, including refugee families, and affecting 98 others. The occupying Power also continues to destroy humanitarian assistance, such a donor-funded solar panel in Al-Khalil (Hebron), maliciously and systematically deepening the de-development of Palestine.We call on the international community to act now, in line with international legal obligations, including in line with UN resolutions, to prevent attacks on innocent civilians, to ensure their protection and ensure the protection and sanctity of the holy sites, and to avert escalation of this already volatile and dangerous situation. Action must be taken, collectively and individually, to hold Israel accountable for all violations perpetrated in the context of, and as a result of, this illegal occupation.

Failure to ensure accountability will only continue to embolden the occupation’s contempt of international law and the international community, including as represented by the Security Council, with grave repercussions on the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, and the prospects for a peaceful solution. We call on the Security Council to act forthwith to address this continuing threat to international peace and security and to implement its relevant resolutions. A clear message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, that it must comply with international law or face consequences.

This letter is in follow-up to our 675 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 12 September 2019 (A/ES-10/826S/2019/739), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations 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 made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate, valuable consideration and also distributed as an official document of the Security Council

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

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad MansourAmbassador,

Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine

to the United Nations

Statement by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Delivered before the United Nations General Assembly 74th Session on 26 September 2019

In the name of God, the most Merciful and Beneficent

Excellency, Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly,

Excellency, Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads and Members of Distinguished Delegations

Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you.

A week before the recent Israeli elections, Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu, came out to arrogantly announce that should he prevail in the election, he would annex and apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea, and Israel’s colonial settlements despite the fact that all these areas are occupied Palestinian territory. We reject entirely and completely this illegal plan. Our response, if any Israeli Government is to proceed with this plan, all signed agreements with the government of the occupation and any obligations therein will be terminated, in line with the previous decisions we have taken in this regard. And, it is our right to defend our rights by all possible means, regardless of consequences, while remaining committed to international law and combating terrorism, and our hands will remain extended for peace.

In this regard, I thank all leaders, countries, and international organizations that condemned and rejected this declaration and Israel’s illegal settlement activities as a whole, which constitute serious violations of UN resolutions and grave breaches of international law.  Moreover, all have reaffirmed that the Palestine question remains a central question for the international community.

I ask you, ladies and gentlemen: what would you do if someone tried take the land of your country and tried to erase your presence in it? It is time for the international community to uphold its responsibilities to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and arrogance.

I had hoped to come to you this year to proclaim together the end of this occupation, the Israeli occupation of my homeland, Palestine. But, regrettably, I stand before you today bearing the same miseries and pain that has been endured for so long by my people, who, despite all that they have suffered of injustice, oppression and occupation – still hold on to the hope of achieving their freedom and independence, as all other nations of the world.

I ask you once again: hasn’t the time come for the emancipation of the Palestinian people and their freedom from this injustice, oppression and occupation?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your august Assembly granted the State of Palestine observer State status in the United Nations in 2012. We are grateful for this legal and moral stance, and we thank you for your principled position in support of our collective, just demands to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and to actualize its full and complete independence on the 4 June 1967 borders, along with a just and lasting solution to the question of the Palestine refugees, whose plight has been tragically prolonged, in conformity with the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, which affirmed the two-State solution: the State of Palestine and the State of Israel.

We also convey our deep appreciation to all countries and peoples that continue to provide support and solidarity to our people and our country, politically and economically, aimed at ending the occupation and building our national institutions, in addition to their continued support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), pending a just and comprehensive solution to the plight our refugees in line with international law.

We are proud that the State of Palestine, despite the obstacles and policies imposed by the Israeli occupation and those behind it, has become a full member in, and a State party to, over 110 international instruments and organizations. It has received the recognition of 140 States from around the world, and is chairing the Group of 77 and China this year. It continues to competently assume its responsibilities at the regional and international levels, as a resilient and constructive member of the international family, and deserves to be a full member of the United Nations and all of its bodies and agencies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We accepted international legitimacy and international law as the framework and judgement to resolve our cause, and we have strived for and continue to seek a just and comprehensive peace. But, the international law that we have accepted and held firm to and the peace that we strive for are now severely endangered as a result of the policies and practices of Israel in our occupied land and its reneging on signed agreements since the Oslo accords in 1993 to the present. The responsibility for defending and preserving international law and peace is incumbent upon you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In East Jerusalem, the occupying Power is waging a reckless, racist war against everything Palestinian, from the confiscation and demolition of homes, to assaults on clergy, to the eviction of our citizens from their homes, to attempts to violate the sanctity of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to the legislation of racist laws, to the denial of access by worshippers to the holy places.

I caution against these policies and reckless measures, which will lead to dangerous consequences with unfathomable implications. Who can accept the continuation of such daily aggressions against our people or accept the continuation of such grave violations of international law?   

We are confident that the international community will not accept Israel’s arbitrary decision to withhold our revenues, and to confiscate a part of it, which is deepening the suffering of our people and preventing us from fulfilling our financial obligations towards them and also exacerbate the economic crisis our country is enduring due to a lack of resources and the decision by some parties and countries to suspend their commitments towards us.

Yet, the Palestinian people will not surrender to the Israeli occupation regardless of the circumstances, and no matter the pain, and will remain steadfast on their land, resisting occupation by all available means, foremost peaceful popular resistance. This is our legitimate right and our national and moral obligation. Let everyone know that occupation cannot bring peace or security or stability for anyone.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

What is unfortunate and shocking is that the US administration – a permanent member of the Security Council that is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security and uphold UN resolutions – is supporting the Israeli aggression against us, reneging on its international political, legal and moral obligations. The US administration has undertaken extremely aggressive and unlawful measures, declaring Jerusalem as the so-called “capital of Israel” and moving its embassy there, and in blatant provocation to the sensitivities of hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians, for whom Jerusalem is a central part of their religious faith.

Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of Palestine regardless of any such schemes or actions.

The US administration did not stop there, but also decided to close the representation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, and some its officials have claimed that the Israeli settlements on our occupied territory are “legitimate”. Moreover, it immorally and inhumanely terminated all of its contributions to UNRWA.

Then, it somehow speaks of the so-called “Deal of the century”, and peddles deceptive and illusive economic “solutions”, after it destroyed by its policies and measures all possibilities to achieve peace.

This US policy has emboldened the government of the Israeli occupation to renege all signed agreements with us and its commitments towards peace, depriving the peace process of any credibility, pushing large segments of the Palestinian people to lose hope in the possibility of long-awaited peace, and jeopardizing the two-State solution.

This has led many to seriously question: if the two-State solution has become impossible because of Israel’s policies, then why don’t we pursue a one-state solution where all citizens can be fairly treated and are equal in rights and duties?

Here, I must ask you: How can I answer these questions raised by the people? How can one fulfill reciprocal commitments that the other side is not abiding by? And despite all of this, I remain committed to the two-State solution.

From our side, we have never missed an opportunity to hold serious negotiations with the Israeli side. We have constructively engaged with all initiatives proposed and based on UN resolutions and international law. However, regrettably, we have not found an Israeli partner, and found instead obstacles and challenges imposed by the Israeli government that continues to refuse to come to the negotiating table.

Despite all this, ladies and gentlemen, I renew the call for the convening of an international peace conference in line with the initiative I presented before the Security Council in February 2018.  This peace conference should include permanent members of the Security Council, the members of the Quartet as well as relevant Arab and international stakeholders, to adopt a plan based on the international consensus, UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, within a defined timeframe, to end the occupation, achieve the independence of our State and end the conflict. We cannot accept that the shepherding of peace be monopolized by one country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From the outset, we have believed in democracy as a foundation for the building of our State and society. We have enshrined this in our constitution and exercised this on the ground. We conducted general elections in 1996, 2005 and 2006, in addition to regular local elections.

However, this democratic process was paralyzed by the coup by Hamas in 2007, which is an unbearable situation. Therefore, I have decided, upon my return from this international gathering, to announce a date for the holding of general elections in Palestine – in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. I call on the UN and the relevant international organizations to monitor these elections, and I will attribute full responsibility to those who may attempt to prevent it from happening on the date determined.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We once again reaffirm our condemnation of terrorism in its all forms and sources. In this context, we strongly condemn the terror attacks against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Arab States, particularly the recent attacks against oil facilities in the Kingdom. We reaffirm our unwavering support to our brothers.

In conclusion, I salute all our Palestinian people in Palestine, in the refugee camps and diaspora and across the world and express our pride in them. I tell them: we are confident that this occupation, like all occupation that preceded it, will inevitably end; that the dawn of freedom and independence is coming; and that the oppression and aggression they have endured for so long will not last. A right is never lost as long as someone strives to claim it.

We salute our honorable martyrs, courageous prisoners and wounded heroes, and salute their resilient families who we will not give up on their rights. We salute to those remaining steadfast in our beloved homeland. The date of our freedom and the independence of State with its eternal capital Al-Quds is soon approaching.

I thank you, Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

كلمة معالي وزير الخارجية والمغتربين لدولة فلسطين د.رياض المالكي أمام مجلس الأمن في جلسته حول الحالة في الشرق الأوسط، بما في ذلك قضية فلسطين، التي تصادف تقديم الأمين العام تقريره الدوري العام حول تنفيذ القرار 2334 (2016) في تاريخ 20 سبتمبر 2019

أتوجه في البداية بالشكر الجزيل والامتنان العميق لرئيس مجلس الأمن والوفد الروسي على قيادته القديرة للمجلس، وعلى عقد هذا الاجتماع الهام. كما نشكر مبعوث الأمين العام، السيد نيكولاي ملادينوف، على تقديمه لتقرير الأمين العام حول تنفيذ قرار مجلس الأمن 2334، وبدوري أرحب بمعالي الوزير، أيمن الصفدي، وزير الخارجية وشؤون المغتربين للمملكة الأردنية الهاشمية الشقيقة. 

 السيد الرئيس،

نستمع اليوم للتقرير العاشر للأمين العام حول تنفيذ القرار 2334، وللأسف فإنه لا يشتمل إلا على المزيد من الجرائم والانتهاكات والسياسات التعسفية الاسرائيلية غير القانونية، ولا يبشر بأي تقدم يذكر بشأن تنفيذ بنود القرار، مثله مثل ما سبقه من تقارير. وهذا يجعلنا نتساءل، ألم يكن هدف المجلس من إسناد هذه المهمة للأمين العام هو متابعة تنفيذ هذا القرار على الأرض، وقياس مدى التزام الأطراف ببنوده، وعليه أخذ ما يلزم من إجراءات للدفع نحو سبل تنفيذ القرار؟ نحن لا نعتقد أن هدف المجلس من طلب تقرير دوري من الأمين العام كان لمجرد الاستماع لحجم انتهاكات القانون الدولي وعدد الضحايا في صفوف المدنيين دون الاستجابة لها ودون الوقوف عند التحذيرات التي تحملها هذه التقارير والتي تنذر بغياب فرص إحلال السلام العادل وتكريس الاستيطان والعنف والتحريض. 

لا نتوقع أن يخبرنا الأمين العام في تقريره القادم بأي خطوة إيجابية نحو تنفيذ القرار 2334 طالما لا يوجد أي دافع أو رادع لإسرائيل يجعلها تعيد النظر في فرض احتلالها العسكري على أرضنا الفلسطينية، والكف عن استهداف المدنيين الفلسطينيين، والتراجع عن نهجها الاستيطاني التوسعي الاستعماري الذي يئد الأمل في إنهاء الاحتلال غير القانوني لأرضنا، و يجعل حل الدولتين على أساس حدود 1967 حلا شبه مستحيلا. 

السيد الرئيس، 

لم تلتزم إسرائيل بقرارات هذه المنظمة أو ميثاقها، ولم تحترم يوماً حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني، ولم تعترف أبداً في حقه الطبيعي في تقرير مصيره وفي حقه بقيام دولته الفلسطينية الحرة المستقلة على أرضه. وأمعنت بكل تكبر وتصلُف بانتهاك القانون الدولي وقرارات الشرعية الدولية بشكل دائم ودون اكتراث، ظناً منها بأنها تتمتع بوضعاً استثنائياً يمنحها “الحق” في الاعتداء على أرض وحقوق الغير، ويحفظها من النقد ويُحصنها من المساءلة.     

إن استهتار إسرائيل بحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني وأمن المنطقة ككل وصل إلى حد تقديم أراض وطننا الغالي كهدية وعرضها كرشوة للجماعات اليمينية المتطرفة في إسرائيل لكسب أصواتهم الانتخابية.  فإن إعلان نتانياهو نيته ضم الأرض المحتلة في الأغوار وشمال البحر الميت ما هو إلا اعتراف المجرم بجريمته. فهل يفلت من العقاب؟

إن محاولات إسرائيل الممنهجة لتغيير التركيبة الديموغرافية والجغرافية للأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة منذ يونيو 1967، بما في ذلك القدس الشرقية، هي محاولات غير قانونية ومرفوضة ولن تغير من الوضع القانوني للأرض الفلسطينية كأرض محتلة، ولن تضفي على احتلال إسرائيل لأرضنا أي صفة شرعية أو قانونية. فلقد باتت نية هذا الاحتلال مكشوفة وهي الاستيلاء على الأرض المحتلة بالقوة وضمها وتهجير الفلسطينيين قسرا ونقل مستوطنين قوة الاحتلال إليها، وهو ما يشكل انتهاكا جسيما للقانون الدولي الإنساني وجرائم حرب بموجب ميثاق روما. 

اسرائيل هي السلطة القائمة بالاحتلال التي تفرض حصارا غير قانونيا على قطاع غزة وتبني جدار التوسع والضم العنصري في الضفة الغربية وتعزل القدس الشرقية المحتلة وهي التي تقتل عمدا ممرضة وصحفيا، وهي التي  تخطف طفلا نائما في فراشه ليلا أو تقنصه وتصيبه في رأسه أو قلبه جبنا، وهي التي تحرم طفلة في خان الأحمر من مقعد دراستها، وهي التي تهدم بيت العائلة في صور باهر٬ والتي تمنع شابا من غزة من السفر للخارج لإكمال دراسته أو امرأة من الحصول على العناية الصحية الملحة، وهي التي تمنع رجلا من الصلاة في القدس وتحمي مستوطنين استولوا على بيت عائلة فلسطينية وأقاموا به غطرسة وجورا، وهي التي تقوم بالممارسات الاستفزازية في الحرم الشريف والأماكن المقدسة، وهي التي تطرد تواجدا دوليا يوثق ممارساتها العنصرية في الخليل، وتقيم الحواجز العسكرية ونقاط التفتيش التعسفية بين أقصى شمال أرضنا المحتلة وحتى جنوبها، وتقتحم القرى الفلسطينية ومخيمات اللاجئين بحثا عمن يرفض ظلمها وقمعها ويطمح للحرية والكرامة للزج به في سجونها ومعتقلاتها، وهي التي تقرصن أموالنا وتنهب مواردنا الطبيعية، وترفض بعد ذلك كله أي نقد يوجه لها في الأمم المتحدة والمحافل الدولية.

ولا ينتهي الأمر عند ذلك، فتقوم إسرائيل، السلطة القائمة بالاحتلال، بخلق حقائق جديدة على الأرض تهدف إلى تغيير ماهية وطبيعة قضايا الحل النهائي، ومحاولات تركيع الشعب الفلسطيني، ومعاداة قيادته وابتزاز حكومته، والتنصل من كل الاتفاقيات الثنائية الموقعة والتفنن بوضع المزيد من الشروط العبثية، ليصبح المطلوب في نهاية المطاف من الطرف الفلسطيني التحلي بالواقعية العملية والقبول بما هو متبقي أو متوفر، وكأنه يمكن التصديق بأن هذا هو الطريق الذي يجب أن نسلكه من أجل تحقيق السلام العادل والدائم بين شعوب المنطقة وضمان عيش أجيالنا القادمة في أمن منشود. هل يوجد منكم من يقبل بمثل هذه التسوية؟ حقوقنا ليست مجرد طموحات وليست للمساومة، وشعبنا عزيز النفس ووطننا غالي وقضيتنا العادلة ليست للبيع والشراء. 

السيد الرئيس،


في واقع الأمر، خطة سلام تعتبر تواجد إسرائيل على أرضنا ليس احتلالاً، وحل الدولتين شعاراً مستهلكاً، وترى أن قرارات الشرعية الدولية ومرجعيات السلام المتفق عليها بالية عفى عنها الزمن، والتوقع بعد ذلك كله من المجتمع الدولي كافة ومن الفلسطينيين شعباً وقيادةً القبول بذلك، هو في حد ذاته شرطاً يتناقض مع متطلبات السلام.   

إن أي عملية تفاوض جادة لا بد لها من أن تنطلق على أساس إنهاء الاحتلال الإسرائيلي الذي بدأ في عام ١٩٦٧، بما في ذلك القدس الشرقية، ضمن اطار زمني محدد وتهدف لمعالجة كافة قضايا الحل النهائي ضمن الإطار المرجعي المتفق عليه دولياً والذي يتمثل في قرارات الشرعية الدولية ومرجعيات مدريد، بما فيها مبدأ الأرض مقابل السلام، ومبادرة السلام العربية وخارطة الطريق التي وضعتها اللجنة الرباعية، على أساس حل دولتين، وتحقيق استقلال الدولة الفلسطينية على حدود ١٩٦٧ وعاصمتها القدس الشرقية وبرعاية دولية كما ورد في خطاب الرئيس محمود عباس امام مجلسكم الموقر في فبراير 2018.

هذا ليس ” شرطا فلسطينيا”، أو كما يدعي البعض “حجة” للتهرب من الحوار ورفض المفاوضات وعرقلة السلام. إن ذلك هو الحل الذي أجمع عليه العالم بأسره، ونجدد اليوم قبولنا والتزامنا به. إن وجود إطار مرجعي للتفاوض أساسه القانون الدولي هو متطلب بديهي يفرضه المنطق على أي عملية تفاوضية وعلى أي مبادرة سياسية لحل أي نزاع، ولا يجب أن تكون القضيةُ الفلسطينيةُ استثناءً لذلك ولا يعقل أن يتم التعامل مع قرارات مجلس الأمن بانتقائية حسب الأهواء والمصالح. 

Mr. President,

While important, it is not enough to proclaim there is no plan B, we need to identify the means for plan A to prevail. And we need to beware of the alternative reality Israel is creating on the ground. Let us properly name it to be able to combat it, it is not a one state reality, it is an apartheid reality.

The will of the peacebuilders needs to triumph over the will of the bulldozers. In this regard, allow me to commend the firm and consistent positions expressed by Security Council members and the international community at large which have demonstrated how deeply rooted and how solid the international consensus for just and lasting peace is. I also wish to thank all those who provide support to the Palestinian people, including to Palestine refugees through UNRWA. We also commend the strong response by the Arab world, the OIC and freedom and peace loving nations around the globe to provocative statements regarding annexation of Palestinian land. And I also seize this opportunity to thank Jordan for its role in support of the rights of the Palestinian people and as custodian over the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, including its role in preserving the historic status quo over Al Haram Al Sharif.

The UN Security Council in adopting its resolutions, including 2334, was motivated by the pursuit of international peace and security, in fulfilment of its mandate. But stating the law is not enough, we must find the avenues to act to ensure its enforcement. Each country present here in the United Nations can make a further contribution to peace by upholding its obligations including under this resolution:

1) By supporting our inalienable rights, including to self-determination, and their fulfilment and by providing humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian people

2) By not recognizing illegal actions undertaken by Israel, including those that seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem

3) By not rendering aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities

4) By distinguishing, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967

5) By ensuring accountability as impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace. 

Make no mistake about it, the real bias regarding Israel in the UN is the one shielding it from accountability. Impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace as it allows the occupying power to reap benefits from its occupation instead of facing consequences, incentivizing illegal actions instead of ensuring compliance with the law. A State that feels it is above the law will be tempted to continue acting as an outlaw State. For the sake of peace, and for the benefit of all peoples of the region, and for the authority of international law, we need to urgently and collectively act to change course, restore hope, and achieve a just and lasting solution to the conflict. We seek justice not vengeance. Freedom not conditional liberty. Peace not Apartheid.

12 September 2019 – Israeli Threats of Annexation

Excellency,

In direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations and its very purposes and principles, in blatant contempt of the United Nations Security Council, and in grave breach of international humanitarian law, Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its illegal colonization measures and direct threats to annex the Palestinian land it has been militarily occupying for more than 52 years.

Following earlier, repeated, provocative threats to annex Israeli settlements illegally established in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister has made yet another cynical, menacing threat. On 10 September, in the context of his frenzied electioneering and relentless inflammatory rhetoric against the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people, the Prime Minister declared his intention, if elected, to apply Israeli sovereignty to and annex the Jordan Valley in the Occupied West Bank, calling the area “Israel’s eastern border”.

The international community cannot remain silent in the face of such direct threats and blatant plans of aggression. International law must be upheld and defended. Israel must be reminded that it is NOT the sovereign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and has no sovereign rights in our land whatsoever.

Israel is the occupying Power and is bound by the obligations prescribed by international humanitarian law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the relevant Security Council resolutions, all of which it continues to deliberately and systematically violate. After more than 52 years, it is beyond an understatement to say that this belligerent occupation is illegal in every manifestation, existing and persisting only on the basis of gross violations of international law.

Israel’s attempts to illegally and forcibly alter the demography, character, identity and legal status of the Palestinian territory occupied since June 1967, including East Jerusalem, are rejected and without any legal effect. That territory remains occupied, a fact repeatedly and unequivocally affirmed by the Security Council and General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the international community in nearly in its entirety. Nothing has changed this fact and all actions by Israel to assert its control, jurisdiction and sovereignty in our land, including threats and measures of colonization and annexation, are illegal and null and void.

The international prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force is inviolable. There can be no exceptions. The Security Council has been patently clear on this across the decades and its resolutions remain valid and must be respected. The Council has reaffirmed this in numerous of its resolutions, including, inter alia, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980) and as recently as resolution 2334 (2016), whereby the Council underscored that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regards to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.

Regrettably, however, the historic lack of accountability in this regard has enabled and fostered Israeli impunity. The international community’s inaction and failure to impose even minimal consequences, let alone sanctions, for Israel’s blatant defiance of the Security Council and violations of international law, including war crimes, have only heightened the occupying Power’s erroneous conviction that it is a State above the law, exempt from international rules and norms.

Recent decisions and actions by the current US administration – in total disregard of the law, UN resolutions and the longstanding international consensus on the two-State solution on the 1967 border – have only further emboldened Israel’s impunity. Actions vis-à-vis Occupied East Jerusalem and the Occupied Syrian Golan have been most glaring in this regard. Although roundly condemned globally, such actions, blind support and dismissiveness of international law have clearly fueled today’s unprecedented levels of crimes, rhetoric and incitement. Indeed, the Israeli Prime Minister’s declaration that he will “await to apply sovereignty until release of the President’s [Trump] political plan”, linking the two schemes, proves the extent to which such policies have reinforced a permissive environment wherein Israel believes it can wantonly violate the law and never be held accountable.

All of this has been to the detriment of the Palestinian people, who continue to be forcibly deprived of their inalienable rights, including to self-determination, freedom and independence; to the detriment of the diminishing prospects for achieving a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and to the detriment of peace and security, regionally and globally. It is a vicious cycle that has harmed the Security Council’s credibility and authority and the international rules-based order. As has often been stated in the Security Council chamber, we must reiterate: the Palestine question remains a litmus test for the viability and efficacy of international law and international system as a whole.

It is beyond time to stop this impunity and stop this insanity, which can only compound this already-disastrous conflict and lead to more human suffering and loss. The international community must act in accordance with its obligations and long-held consensus on the parameters of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution in accordance with international law, the relevant resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap. Continued inaction is unjustifiable, unacceptable and unconscionable.

It is beyond time to hold Israel, the occupying Power, to account for its violations of international law. The political will must be mobilized to impose consequences for continued contempt and non-compliance with UN resolutions. Such crimes, provocations and incitement as we witness today cannot be tolerated or excused. Israel’s blatant threats and plans of annexation make international action even more urgent.

We call on the Security Council to defend, uphold and act forthwith to implement its relevant resolutions. States too must act to uphold their obligations and responsibilities in line with international law and the relevant resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), which explicitly called on all States to distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. Serious and practical measures must be taken.

The Security Council cannot allow for the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force, a cornerstone of the international legal order, to be trampled, permitting the further trampling of the rights of peoples, further destabilization of the region and further unraveling of the international system and its foundational principles. The dangers of this situation should not be underestimated. We call for unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s threats and violations and immediate action and concrete measures to bring an end to this impunity. Only such action can ever bring an end to this illegal occupation, bring an end to this injustice, and make a just and lasting peace a reality.

This letter is in follow-up to our 674 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 9 September 2019 (A/ES-10/—S/2019/—), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

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

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

9 September 2019 – Continued violations against the civilian population in Gaza and Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons

Excellency,

Despite our repeated appeals for urgent international action to deter Israel from its criminal behavior towards the Palestinian people, the absence of serious efforts to hold the occupying Power accountable and reign it in, has only made our people more vulnerable to the brutality of this illegal occupation.

I regret that I am therefore compelled to once again draw your attention to loss of innocent lives at the hands of this belligerent occupation and to convey yet another urgent appeal on behalf of the Palestinian people and their leadership for the international community to take responsible and prompt action to stop the intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupying forces.

For the 73rd week of the Great Return March, Palestinian civilians, women, men and children in the besieged Gaza Strip, have continued to exercise their fundamental rights of expression, assembly, and association in the context of peaceful protests that continue to be held as part of their resistance against the Israeli occupation, oppression and dispossession of our people. For the 73rd week in a row, Palestinian protestors have been attacked, killed and maimed by the occupying Power, which continues to prove its blatant disregard for Palestinian lives.

Friday’s attacks by the Israeli occupying forces on unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters caused the death of two Palestinian children and caused injury to more than 80 Palestinian civilians. The two young boys murdered were Khaled Abu Bakr El Rebai, age 14, and Ali Sami Al-Ashqar, age 17. [Read more…]

9 August 2019 – Update on continued Expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Excellency,

In the absence of any serious measures of accountability pursuant to Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) and the countless other relevant United Nations resolutions demanding the cessation of Israel’s illegal policies and measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and an end to its more than half-century occupation, the occupying Power continues with its flagrant violations and methodical destruction of the two-State solution.

In our third letter in a week, we regret to inform Your Excellency that Israel remains relentless in its ferocious colonization and annexation schemes throughout Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.   In fact, over the past 48 hours the Israeli government has approved the building of nearly three thousand illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank.  And, just today, in the most recent blatant violation of international law, the Prime Minister of Israel himself flew by helicopter to lay the foundation stone for the construction of 650 new illegal units in the “Beit El” settlement located near Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank. [Read more…]