Excerpts from a letter to the international community from Rafat Badran, the father of a young Palestinian boy, Mahmoud Badran, who was brutally murdered by the Israeli occupying forces on 21 June 2016:

Mahmoud Badran1Last Friday, my wife Amal and I lived our greatest nightmare when we buried our precious son Mahmoud. He was 15 years old.

A few days earlier, he was enjoying an evening of relative normalcy, an occurrence all too rare in the life of a Palestinian child. It was the Holy Month of Ramadan, and after spending time celebrating with our family, Mahmoud, along with his friends and cousins, ventured out to a local village pool. After swimming for several hours, the group piled into the car to return home, smiling and fatigued, relishing some relief from the pervasive and cruel conditions of Israeli military occupation. And then suddenly, Israeli soldiers riddled the car Mahmoud was riding in with bullets, hitting several of the children. Four of them are still recovering from their wounds. Mahmoud was killed. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, New York, 12 July 2016:

Mr. President,

At the outset, we congratulate Japan on its skilled leadership as President of the Security Council and express appreciation for the convening of this important open debate. I also thank the United Nations Special Coordinator, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his valuable briefing to the Council.

Mr. President,

The Security Council is meeting against the backdrop of an extremely volatile and tense situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and ongoing deadlock in the efforts to create a viable political horizon to resolve for once and for all this deadly, destructive and tragic conflict. It is also meeting against the backdrop of ongoing regional and international initiatives aimed at salvaging the two-State solution and the prospects for peace and charting a way forward for their realization. Regrettably, however, for various reasons, none of those initiatives have come to fruition and the political will to act responsibly and boldly – in line with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, in the interest of justice and human rights, and for the sake of peace and security – remains perilously absent.

The Arab States continue to stretch their hand in peace, supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and independence, while also striving to open a new era of peace, stability and security in our region. For over 14 years, the Arab Peace Initiative has offered a bold path forward and yet Israel, the occupying Power, remains intransigent, belittling this most significant initiative and failing to reciprocate time and time again and obstructing the revival of a political horizon on its basis. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. 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, New York, 18 April 2016:

Mr. President,

At the outset, I express the State of Palestine’s congratulations to China on its skilled leadership as the presidency of the Security Council this month and express appreciation for the convening of this important open debate. I also thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his briefing on the current situation and for his continuous efforts to address this longstanding issue on the UN agenda in the interest of peace and justice.

Mr. President,

Since our last debate in January, we have addressed the Security Council on a near weekly basis regarding the critical situation in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israel’s illegal and destructive policies and measures. In each communication to this august Council, we have tried to draw urgent attention to the grave breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights violations being systematically committed by the occupying Power, including its occupying forces and terrorist settlers. We have equally appealed for urgent action, in line with international law, to compel Israel to halt its crimes and violations, which are inflicting widespread suffering on the Palestinian civilian population, further inflaming tensions and destabilizing the situation, destroying the two-State solution and sabotaging the chances for a peaceful solution. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Dr. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, New York, 26 January 2016 (Delivered by Ambassador Dr.Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations):

Mr. President,

I congratulate the friendly country of Uruguay on its election to the Security Council and thank Your Excellency, Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, for convening this important debate under Uruguay’s presidency.

I thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his important briefing to the Council on the current situation.

Today, I also extend our congratulations to other new non-permanent members – Egypt, Japan, Senegal and Ukraine, wishing them success in fulfilling their responsibilities under the Charter. We renew our deep appreciation to Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria for their skilled service and principled positions on so many critical issues, including the question of Palestine, during their tenure. [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Riyad Mansour at the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict”, 19 January 2016, New York:

Mr. President,

We congratulate Uruguay on its membership to the Security Council and presidency this month and for convening this important debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

Mr. President,

We meet at a critical moment witnessing the immense suffering of millions of civilians in conflicts around the world, particularly in the Middle East, where civilians are bearing the highest toll of armed conflict in all forms, including foreign occupation. As noted in various reports, deliberate targeting and indiscriminate attacks on civilians characterize many of today’s conflicts, resulting in vast civilian casualties, displacement and suffering, and direct attacks on humanitarian personnel and facilities and access restrictions impair the ability to help and protect those in most need.  This toll has compelled the largest movement of refugees since World War II with grave humanitarian, social, economic, psychological and security consequences for the children, women and men whose fate it is to become a refugee, as well as consequences for the countries in conflict, receiving countries and the international community as a whole. [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, before the UNGA, Agenda Item 73 (b): “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance: Assistance to the Palestinian people”, 10 December 2015

Mr. President,

I am honored to deliver the statement of the delegation of the State of Palestine on this important agenda item on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance, in specific with regard to assistance to the Palestinian people.

Today, I renew our appreciation to Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon and his team for the report on “Assistance to the Palestinian people” (document A/70/76-E/2015/57), assessing the humanitarian and developmental support received by the Palestinian people and Government and its effective impact over the past year.  It has been a year that again witnessed the deterioration of the situation on all fronts, humanitarian and socio-economic as well as political and security, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, compounding the hardships being endured by the Palestinian civilian population living under Israel’s occupation, giving rise to even greater need and making international humanitarian assistance all the more imperative. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the General Assembly Debate on Agenda Item: 16 “Culture of Peace”, 3 December 2015, New York

Mr. President,

Peace is impossible in the absence of respect for international law.  Peace is impossible in the absence of respect for human rights. Peace is impossible in the absence of freedom. Peace is impossible in the absence of respect for our common humanity and inherent dignity.  These are harsh facts reaffirmed every single day in the international community, as we witness the many dilemmas and challenges plaguing our world today and preventing the flourishing of a genuine global culture of peace. [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Nadya Rasheed, First Counsellor, before the Third Committee, 70th session, on Agenda Item 72(c): Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, 4 November 2015

At the outset, allow me on behalf of the Palestinian people to express our appreciation for the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Mr. Makarim Wibisono.  It is deplorable that after a year of his appointment and despite Israeli assurances when the SR was appointed, that he has been obstructed, from fully carrying out his mandate.  Israel must be reminded that such cooperation is a fundamental legal obligation incident to membership in the organization. Such non-cooperation by Israel should not be allowed to continue and we call for the necessary action to be taken by the UN to remedy this grievous situation and bring Israel into compliance. [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Nadya Rasheed, First Counsellor, before the Third Committee, Agenda item 70 (a): Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, 70TH Session of the UNGA, New York, 4 November 2015

As this Committee discusses the important issue of the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, the Palestinian people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continue to suffer from an increased level of all of the above.  Mr. Chair, since 1967, the occupying Power has institutionalized racism and discrimination in its most barbaric form, which is a prolonged foreign military occupation with elements of colonialism and apartheid.  The most glaring example of this has been the occupying Power’s illegal attempt to Judaize the Occupied West Bank, in particular in East Jerusalem, by transferring nearly 600,000 Israeli settlers to over 150 Israeli settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which classifies settlement building as a war crime. [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Nadya Rasheed, First Counsellor, before the Third Committee, Agenda item 71: Right of Peoples to Self-Determination, 70th Session of the UNGA, 3 November 2015

The right of peoples to self-determination is founded on the principle that human beings are the holders of given and inalienable rights- rights that allow them to determine their own destinies and future. But, for the Palestinian people living in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, the right to self-determination only exists as a principle as this right over the past five decades continues to be forcefully withheld and trampled on in the most brutal and inhuman manner by Israel, the occupying Power.  [Read more…]