Statement by Mrs. Somaia Barghouti, Senior Adviser, the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine, before the Commission on the Status of Women, 59th session, New York, 13 March 2015

Madam Chair,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the delegation of the State of Palestine, to congratulate you on your election to the presidency of this important commission. We wish you and all members of the Bureau all success.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his report regarding “the Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” (E/CN.6/2015/5), in which the tragic situation of Palestinian women is addressed. The report stated: “expressed deep concern about the grave situation of Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the critical socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.” Moreover, it emphasized that: “Restrictions on movement and access, increased settlement expansion and settler violence, demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and displacement, the fragmentation of the territory and the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, continue to have a negative gender differentiated impact on the lives of Palestinian women and their families.” My delegation considers this report to be very important however, we would like to express our concern regarding how this tragic situation was portrayed as the result of a conflict between two equal parties, Israel and Palestine, rather than taking into consideration that the Palestinian people have been suffering for more than 48 years under Israel’s illegal colonial military occupation and its oppressive and racist practices. [Read more…]

27 February 2015 – Israeli Attack of Christian Seminary and Rise in Settlement Construction


In follow up to my recent letter regarding the vile terror attacks being committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and properties, I regret to inform you of another attack yesterday on a Christian holy site.  Such vicious attacks, directly aimed at insulting and intimidating Palestinian Muslims and Christians, are inflaming religious sensitivities and tensions and risk instigating the outbreak of a religious war, with all of the grave ramifications in this regard.

Yesterday, 26 February, extremist Israeli settlers set fire to a Christian seminary belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Old City of Occupied East Jerusalem.  Extensive damage was caused by this blatant act of terrorism, including the burning of a school room in the seminary and the spray-painting of hate graffiti about Jesus on the seminary’s walls consisting of vulgar and offensive words that cannot be printed in such a diplomatic correspondence.  This crime comes on the heels of the attack a day earlier on a mosque in the village of Jaba’a in the Bethlehem area, where Israeli settlers also burned the mosque and defiled its walls with graffiti.

Such attacks have been repeatedly perpetrated by gangs of racist, extremist and terrorist Israeli settlers, who have been deliberately transferred to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by Israel, the occupying Power, in grave breach of international law.  As such, Israel bears ultimate responsibility for the presence of the settlers on our land and for all of their crimes, including all acts of terror. [Read more…]

25 February 2015 – Protection of the Palestinian Civilian Population Under Israeli Occupation


The situation of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation remains critical due to innumerable policies and practices being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in systematic, gross violation of international law, including, inter alia, the laws specifically intended to protect civilians in situations of armed conflict, including foreign occupation.

The right to life of Palestinian civilians – children, women and men – is under constant threat due to the excessive, indiscriminate force routinely used by the Israeli occupying forces and acts of violence and terror committed by Israeli settlers.  Such brutality at the hands of the occupation, along with other measures of intimidation and provocation, continue to willfully cause death and bodily harm and injury to Palestinian civilians, including permanent disabilities for thousands of people.

Today, we remember the appalling massacre committed by an Israeli settler against Palestinian worshippers in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994 during the holy month of Ramadan. This heinous massacre was strongly condemned by the Security Council and led to the adoption of resolution 904 (1994) which called for “..measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory, including inter alia, a temporary international or foreign presence,..” [Read more…]

12 February 2015 – Israeli Settlements and Demolition of Palestinian Homes


I regret to inform that conditions in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, are worsening as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal and provocative practices, especially in connection with its settlement activities and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

In grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, notably Article 49 and Article 33, Israel persists with its colonization of the Palestinian land, the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian property, and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians.  The occupying Power persists with gross collective punishment and reprisal against the entire Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, foremost by way of its inhumane blockade.  The cumulative effect is one of increased humanitarian suffering, frustration and hopelessness threatening to completely destabilize the situation. [Read more…]

2 February 2015 – Incessant Israeli Settlement Activities


As the Security Council remains sidelined vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to exploit the international community’s inaction by persisting with its illegal policies and practices with impunity.  In particular, the Israeli Government continues its insidious colonization of the Palestinian land it has belligerently, illegitimately occupied since June 1967, in grave breach of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, as well as international criminal law as articulated in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

There is no difference – whether through periods of peace process or periods of unrest and conflict – Israel has never ceased its settlement activities in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.  In words and in deeds, every single Israeli government has actively carried out this illegal settlement campaign, openly entrenching the occupation in every way.  The latest such step was taken on Friday, 30 January, when it was revealed that the occupying Power has decided to move forward with the construction at least 450 new settlement units in various areas throughout Occupied Palestine, including in East Jerusalem.   [Read more…]

29 January 2015 – Situation of Children in Palestine


I write to draw your attention and, through you, the attention of the international community to the extreme hardships and suffering being endured by the Palestinian people under occupation in the State of Palestine, as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its gross human rights violations, collective punishment and breaches of international humanitarian law. At this time, we are compelled to highlight the critical condition of Palestinian children, who are being subjected to escalating repression and acts of aggression, in breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other provisions of international law, resulting in a tragic situation of widespread suffering, trauma and loss of childhoods.

In particular, the situation of Palestinian children detained and imprisoned by Israel, the occupying Power, is a matter of urgency requiring immediate attention and redress. The occupying forces continue to harass and attack Palestinian children in violent raids on towns, villages and refugee camps, at checkpoints and in peaceful demonstrations and continue to carry out pre-dawn raids into the homes of families, seizing children in the dead of night, intensifying the trauma for both child and parents. It is also a routine practice of Israel to detain Palestinian children for extended periods of time without access to parents or lawyers and to subject children to forced interrogations, leading to confessions made under duress, and to beatings, solitary confinement and other forms of psychological and physical torture as well as to military court trials.  Regarding the systematic trial of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts, a UNICEF February 2013 report, “Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations” underscores that: “It is understood that this is the first and only juvenile military court in operation in the world”.  [Read more…]

16 January 2015 – State of Palestine welcomes the opening by ICC Prosecutor of a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine

State of Palestine

Palestine Liberation Organization

January 16, 2015

State of Palestine welcomes the opening by ICC Prosecutor

of a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the opening of a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine by the Prosecutor. The announcement comes following the lodging by the State of Palestine of a Declaration under article 12 (3) of the Rome Statute granting jurisdiction to the Court to investigate crimes committed in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014. Palestine considers this an important positive step towards achieving justice and ensuring respect for international law.  [Read more…]

15 January 2015 – Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question

(Check against delivery)

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I congratulate the friendly country of Chile on its Presidency of the Security Council and wish you all success in steering the important agenda of work, confident in your able leadership. We also welcome H.E. Mr. Heraldo Munoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, and his chairing of this important debate. I also express our appreciation to the delegation of Chad for its honorable and capable stewardship of the Council in December.

Today, I also extend the warm congratulations of the State of Palestine to the new members of the Security Council – the friendly countries of Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela – as they assume their solemn responsibilities to uphold the Council’s Charter duties, its resolutions and international law. We pledge to them, as to all the members of the Council, our full support and cooperation, and express confidence in their principled service on the Council. [Read more…]

30 December 2014 – Statement by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question

 (Check against delivery)

Mr. President,

I come before the Security Council on behalf of the leadership of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people, a long-suffering, yet proud and dignified people, who remain steadfast and fully committed to the achievement of their inalienable rights, justice and their legitimate national aspirations, including to self-determination, freedom and independence, and who remain committed to the pursuit of political, diplomatic, peaceful and non-violent means for the achievement of these objectives, for which there is overwhelming and longstanding global support.

Mr. President,

We have endured the passage of yet another year that has inflicted on the Palestinian people more loss and tragedy and the deterioration of the situation on all fronts due to the illegal, destructive and oppressive actions of Israel, the occupying Power.  It has been a year that has witnessed the breakdown of yet another political process – despite the genuine efforts of the United States with the full support of the League of Arab States and all other major stakeholders, and the good faith efforts and cooperation of Palestine – and the deepening of another political impasse due to brazen Israeli intransigence, creating a totally unsustainable situation, roundly acknowledged by all. [Read more…]

5 January 2015 – Israeli Theft of Palestinian Tax Revenues


As a new year has begun, the Palestinian people and their leadership continue to face an unrelenting barrage of repressive, illegal and destructive measures by Israel, the occupying Power.

In addition to its ongoing colonization of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, gross human rights violations, seizure and destruction of homes and properties, arrest and detention of thousands of civilians, and inhumane blockade on more than 1.8 million of our people in the Gaza Strip, Israel, the occupying Power, has now also resumed the theft of Palestinian tax revenues in direct retaliation for the legitimate, peaceful steps taken by the Palestinian leadership in the pursuit of justice and for the purpose of protecting the Palestinian people and advancing the realization of their rights, including to self-determination and freedom. [Read more…]