Statement by H.E. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, before the Security Council Open Debate, 26 October 2020

Mr. President,

At the outset, I wish to thank Your Excellency Deputy Minister Vershinin for presiding over this meeting and for the leadership role of Russia in the pursuit of Middle East peace. Let me also thank my brother Mohamed Ali Nafti, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, and H.E. Dang Minh Khoi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, for participating in this meeting. I also wish to thank Mr. Mladenov for his briefing and efforts.

Mr. President,

It is time to drop the old talking points.

It is ridiculous to claim that the Palestinians “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”, when in fact the PLO signed an agreement with Israel just months after the start of the first ever negotiations between the two sides, despite all the shortcomings of those accords, which history has proven.

It is preposterous to consider that Israel’s right to security could justify its occupation and oppression of an entire nation for decades, or justify denying us our right to self-determination and to a sovereign and independent State, and or justify denying our own right to security.

It is absurd to claim that it is the Palestinian side that does not want negotiations, when Israel is the one trying, on the ground every single day, to illegally preempt the negotiations on all final status issues.

It is ludicrous to claim that the obstacle to peace is Palestinian intransigence, when our positions are actually aligned with the international consensus and the resolutions of this Council, while Israeli positions and policies are flagrantly in breach of international law and UN resolutions.

The parties identified final status issues that should be negotiated based on internationally-agreed terms of reference and parameters by 1999. Here is Netanyahu’s stance on these issues: Jerusalem, including occupied East Jerusalem, shall be Israeli. Illegal settlements shall remain in place. Refugees shall remain refugees. Israel shall continue to control our borders. Israel shall control all of the Jordan Valley and with it most of our natural resources. These positions are contemptuous and unlawful, and they translate into a simple truth: Israel does not want to end its illegal occupation, it wants to make it permanent. And we are the ones labeled ‘intransigent’?

It is time to abandon the failed recipes of the past.

We cannot allow Israeli unilateralism to prevail while the world continues calling for bilateral negotiations.

It is no longer enough to call on parties to negotiate, this call must be accompanied by measures to incentivize respect for obligations and to dissuade from illegal unilateral actions.

It is no longer enough to say settlements are illegal, one must ensure accountability, distinction and non-assistance.

It is no longer enough to speak of a two-State solution, it must be accompanied with the recognition of the State of Palestine and support to its sovereignty over the territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

We could have tried to find answers to Israel’s violence through violence, to be heard and considered relevant. We did not.

We could have adopted a disruptive behaviour, since constructive behaviour is underrated these days. We did not.

We could have contributed to transforming this political conflict into a religious one, fueling it so we are not the only ones to feel its flames. We did not.

Despite decades of Israel’s oppressive policies, and of measures aimed to bring us to our knees, politically and financially, President Abbas called in his message to the General Assembly, as he has before this Council, the UN Secretary-General to undertake, in cooperation with the Quartet, mandated by this body to advance peace, and the Security Council, preparations to convene an international conference, with the participation of all concerned parties, early next year, to engage in a genuine peace process, based on international law, UN resolutions and the relevant terms of reference.

This call is the ultimate demonstration of our commitment to peace and to a path based on inclusion not exclusion, legality not illegality, negotiations not diktats, multilateralism not unilateralism. I know many of your countries have already expressed support to President Abbas’s initiative and we look forward to continue working with all of you to see it materialize, including through meetings of this Council, such as this one held during Russia’s presidency. 

Mr. President,

Israel decided, only under pressure, to freeze its plans for formal annexation of areas beyond occupied East Jerusalem. But it has not renounced its decades-long policy aiming to control maximum Palestinian land with minimum Palestinians, in other words maximum Palestinian geography with minimum Palestinian demography. Its de facto annexation continues with the advancement in recent days of 5000 settlement units deep into the West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem. The international community must act to salvage peace, or we will all bear the consequences.

As long as Israel does not bear the cost of occupation, and instead continues reaping its benefits, it will never negotiate in good faith. The international community must address the shortcomings of the past, by linking its relations with the parties to their respect of their obligations under international law and the peace process, by helping them reach an agreement and implementing it and by enforcing a binding timeframe.

The international peace conference can generate the necessary momentum and mobilize the international community at large to help the parties negotiate a peace agreement that will forever change our region. Anything else is volatile, and it is futile.

Two-third of our people were forced into exile, and we did not surrender. Tens of thousands were killed, and we did not surrender. Hundreds of thousands were displaced, and we did not surrender. The equivalent of half of our male population, over 800,000 Palestinians, was arrested and we did not surrender. What makes anyone think we would surrender now?

Israel often wonders why we enjoy such international solidarity. It is because former colonial powers and liberation movements alike know these colonial policies well: violence, subjugation, intimidation, mass arbitrary imprisonment, discrimination, humiliation, fragmentation of the land, confinement of the occupied people, expansion of illegal settlements, exploitation. They cannot support such actions. History has taught them better.

The international consensus, UNRWA’s mandate and role, the Palestinian people’s resilience have all been sorely tested. And yet they prevail. It is now time to take the initiative. There isn’t a people too many in the Middle East, there is an independent state missing. You cannot solve the Middle East equation by denying this fundamental factor. You cannot end this conflict without freedom for the Palestinian people, and our freedom will never be compatible with Israeli soldiers in our streets, Israeli drones in our skies and Israeli control over our borders.

Ask Maher Al-Akhras who has been on hunger strike for over 90 days to denounce, at the peril of his life, the most arbitrary form of detention, the so-called administrative detention, ask Amer Snobar, barely 18, and beaten to death yesterday by Israeli soldiers who had apprehended him and kept hitting him on his head and neck with the butt of their rifles until he could no longer breathe, ask the mother of the child killed on his way to school, the athlete whose leg was amputated after a sniper acted as if he was playing a videogame, the owner of a house built by years of sweat and destroyed in an instant, and the farmer whose crops were burnt by settlers, they will all tell you “we will not coexist with occupation”. We want to end occupation, so we can coexist, so we can know justice, so we can be free, so our region can know true peace and security.

Thank you Mr. President.

Statement of H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas President of the State of Palestine UN General Assembly General Debate of the 75 th Session 25 September 2020

In the name of God, the Merciful,
H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly
H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads and Members of delegations,

I wondered while preparing this statement what more could I tell you, after all that I have said in previous statements, about the perpetual tragedy and suffering being endured by my people – which the world is witness to daily – and about their legitimate aspirations – which are yet to be fulfilled – to freedom, independence and human dignity, as enjoyed by the peoples of the world.

Until when, ladies and gentlemen, will the question of Palestine remain without a just solution as enshrined in United Nations resolutions? Until when will the Palestinian people remain under Israeli occupation and will the question of millions of Palestine refugees remain without a just solution in accordance with what the United Nations has determined over 70 years ago?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Palestinian people have been present in their homeland, Palestine, the land of their ancestors, for over 6000 years, and they will continue living on this land, steadfast in the face of occupation, aggression and the disappointments and betrayals, until the fulfilment of their rights. Despite all they have endured and continue to endure, despite the unjust blockade that targets our national decision, we will not kneel or surrender and we will not deviate from our fundamental positions, and we shall overcome, God willing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have accepted the rule of international law and UN resolutions, and we have done so in spite of the historic injustice that we have borne from 1917 to the present day, and even though these resolutions only acknowledged as Palestinian the territories occupied in 1967. Yet, the Israeli occupying Power, with the support of the present US administration, wants to substitute this basis for a just solution with the US ‘Deal of the Century’ and the planned annexation of over 33% of the land of the State of Palestine, in addition to the annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We have rejected this deal, as did the international community, as it contravenes international law and
UN resolutions, which recognized, inter alia, the existence of the State of Palestine in 2012 as part of the international order.

We have always sought a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and we have agreed to all the initiatives presented to us. I have personally dedicated my life to achieving this desired peace, notably since 1988, followed by the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords in 1993, and to this very day. We accepted and remained committed to the Arab Peace Initiative, as it provides for peace, security and coexistence once the occupation ends. We did all of this for peace.

What did Israel, the occupying Power, do in return? It violated all agreements signed with us, undermined the two-State solution through its oppressive practices of killing and maiming, arrests, home demolitions, asphyxiating our economy, and systematically acting to alter the character and identity of occupied Jerusalem, attacking its Muslim and Christian holy sites, notably Al-Aqsa Mosque, and pursuing its settler colonialism on our land and against our people, ignoring the Arab Peace Initiative for peace and actively attempting now to kill another opportunity for peace through reckless unilateral measures.

Finally, it announces normalization agreements with both the UAE and Bahrain, in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative, and the terms of reference of a comprehensive, lasting and just solution in accordance with international law. The Palestine Liberation Organization has not
given a mandate to anyone to speak or negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people and the only path to lasting, comprehensive and just peace in our region requires ending the occupation and securing the independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East
Jerusalem as its capital.

In this regard, I call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to undertake, in cooperation with the Quartet and the Security Council, preparations to convene an international conference with full authority and with the participation of all concerned parties, early next year, to engage in a genuine peace process, based on international law, UN resolutions and the relevant terms of reference, leading to an end the occupation and the achievement by the Palestinian people of their freedom and independence within their State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders, and resolving all final status issues, notably the question of the refugees, based on resolution 194.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Those who believe the Palestinian people can coexist with the occupation or be subdued by pressure and diktats are under an illusion, as are those who are being misled to believe that they can circumvent our people, who bear this struggle and are its only address. Let everyone know there will be no peace, no security, no stability and no coexistence in our region while
this occupation continues and a just, comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine, the core of the conflict, remains denied.

In Palestine, ladies and gentlemen, there is a living nation, creative, civilized, peace-loving, aspiring passionately to freedom. A nation that has been able – despite the occupation that besieges our lives – to build an active and modern society, that believes in democracy and the
rule of law and has been able to preserve its national existence and identity despite all the political and philosophical differences between its diverse components. Here we are, despite all the obstacles that you know too well, preparing ourselves to hold parliamentary elections, followed by presidential elections, with the participation of all factions and political parties.

We will continue creating life and hope under the flag of national unity and democracy. We will continue resisting all attempts and plans to erase us, and we will secure our rightful and natural place among nations and exercise the rights granted to us by international legitimacy, including our right to resist this occupation in accordance with international law.

We will continue building the institutions of our State and consolidating them on the basis of the rule of law. We will continue combating international terrorism, as we have done for years past. We will remain faithful to peace, justice, human and national dignity under all circumstances. I salute the great Palestinian people that bravely pursues the struggle for freedom and independence. I salute our martyrs, prisoners and wounded. I salute Jerusalem and our people who remain steadfast in its holy sites. I salute our people in the besieged Gaza Strip. I salute our people in the refugee camps everywhere. I salute all those who stand with us and with our rights from all countries, nations and organizations.

Peace be upon you.

Statement by H.E. Minister 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, 21 July 2020

Mr. President,

We appreciate your presence among us today, which highlights the importance of the matter at hand especially at this critical juncture. We also express our appreciation as to Mr. Mladenov and to the briefers, Mr. Shikaki and Mr. Levy, for their important presentations.

Mr. President,

As we celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, we must honor, through action, the struggle Mandela dedicated his life to. As highlighted in the important vision presented by the Secretary-General in his statement on this occasion, Mandela devoted his life to fighting inequality and injustice, regardless of its sources, and in solidarity with all its victims.

This included solidarity with the Palestinian people, with Mandela stressing “We know too well our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. There is a reason why those who have fought against colonialism and Apartheid remain the strongest advocates of the Palestinian cause. They recognize the similarity of our chains, but also our common aspiration to freedom, and we are proud to have them by our side in our ongoing just struggle.

Mr. President,

In times of war and times of peace, Israel has relentlessly entrenched its control over Palestinian land and Palestinian lives. Immediately after the start of the 1967 occupation, it initiated its first illegal settlements. In 1980, even as it concluded a peace agreement with Egypt, it unlawfully annexed Jerusalem. In 1993, as we concluded the Oslo Accords, it decided to speed up its settlement activities, with the number of settlers now being 7-fold what they were at the time. During the 2nd Intifada, it built a wall to cement its de facto annexation, as pronounced by the ICJ.

Regardless of what the Palestinian people did, and of what the international community said, Israel never changed course. Whether there were negotiations or not, violence or not, international efforts or not, it pressed on, and impunity from accountability under the law guaranteed that the benefits of occupation would far outweigh its cost. Its strategic objective has never changed: grabbing maximum Palestinian geography with minimum Palestinian demography.

In a week from now, we will commemorate 40 years since the unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem. Since then, Israel has launched a full-fledged war against Palestinian presence in the City. It is a cold-blooded and systematic endeavor through a well-oiled machinery of illegal laws, policies and practices. Discriminatory zoning and planning has isolated Palestinians within 13% of their own City, the area of East Jerusalem already built-up in 1967. The occupying Power has created a coercive environment with constant home demolitions, revocation of residency cards, preventing family reunification, all designed to achieve the forcible transfer of Palestinians. It has closed down Palestinian institutions, continues preventing elections and regularly arresting the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem.  Its settlers have besieged the City from inside out. It is a slow, silent and yet violent process of dispossession and annexation.

Since then, Israel has not declared its annexation of any other part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It feared the consequences of such action, especially given the strong international reaction to its decision, including by this Security Council, as witnessed in 1980 and again in 2017. It kept waiting for a crack in the international system to formalize what it had illegally advanced on the ground. It finally thought it had reached this long-awaited moment, where it could reveal its true and not so well-hidden intentions.

However, something happened in these last few weeks that, if furthered, may allow us to shift course towards peace. The firm positions expressed by so many governments, including Security Council members at Ministerial level, intergovernmental organizations, including the Arab League, EU, NAM, OIC, parliamentarians, civil society actors, legal scholars, independent human rights experts, the Elders, women leaders and peoples of conscience worldwide demonstrated the global commitment to justice and international law and human rights. It is a formidable international front against annexation and occupation and for peace that must be sustained.

Stopping annexation is a critical battle that we must win, but we should not forget the war that Israel has been waging for decades. Israel may abandon declaring de jure annexation, but it will not abandon its annexation plans. They are being implemented as we speak, one military order at a time, one demolished house at a time, one confiscated parcel of land at a time, one Palestinian family displaced at a time, one settlement unit at a time. 

The Prime Minister, the soldier, the settler, the bureaucrat, the parliamentarian, the judge in the military court, they all conspire towards that objective Israel has pursued obsessively: grabbing maximum Palestinian geography with minimum Palestinian demography.

The world cannot unsee what Israel has so starkly revealed. It has no intention whatsoever to end its 53-year occupation and make peace. Israel wants its illegality to be considered an irreversible reality, asking for recognition instead of displaying contrition. We tell Israel: what is irreversible, as Mandela said, is our march to freedom.

A people that has been uprooted from their homeland, dispossessed, exiled, occupied, colonized, annexed and deprived of their fundamental human rights cannot continue to be blamed for their plight and inability to bring an end to it, while they continue, against all odds, to seek a solution through the most peaceful, legitimate means, until now to no avail.

The South African Nobel Peace Laureate Chief Lutuli declared “Who will deny that thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain, patiently, moderately, and modestly at a closed and barred door? What have been the fruits of moderation? The past thirty years have seen the greatest number of laws restricting our rights and progress, until today we have reached a stage where we have almost no rights at all”.

We could, 27 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, almost repeat what he said word by word. But we believe that the international community can and must reward moderation and sanction extremism before it is too late.

Mr. President,

Who are the rejectionists? Those adhering to UN Security Council resolutions or those violating them? Those accepting the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders or those destroying it? Those calling for international involvement, including through the Quartet and other multilateral efforts, to foster peace and hold the parties accountable, or those who seek endless “talks” with no results? Those who have presented maps and clear positions on all final status issues or those fleeing and violating any commitment?  

Who are the delusional ones? Those seeking just and lasting peace that ensures the rights, dignity and security of all, or those who believe that Palestinians must accept, after a century of struggle for freedom, to live in Bantustans and surrender to perpetual injustice? Those who pursue an end of occupation to allow for peaceful and normal relations in the region, or those who believe it is possible to achieve acceptance by the region and security while denying the rights of an entire nation and undermining regional peace and security? Those advocating respect for international law and UN resolutions, or those who use religious extremism, supremacist theories, and unhinged nationalism to justify violating them.

Mandela’s legacy is under threat in many parts of our world, and nowhere is this more true than in Palestine. 40 years ago, this Council stated, after the annexation of Jerusalem, its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the Charter, to secure the full implementation of its resolutions, in the event of non-compliance by Israel. Time for action by all is long overdue, and indispensable to ensure the triumph of freedom and dignity, justice and peace.

The law matters. Principles matter. Accountability matters. This is the lifeblood of the international community and the basis for peaceful relations and stability and security worldwide. Palestine is no exception.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Statement by H.E. Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, before the United Nations Security Council’s Monthly Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, Quarterly Report of the Secretary-General on Resolution 2334 (2016), 24 June 2020

Mr. President,

Excellencies, Members of the Council,

We often use the image of a crossroad to explain how significant a moment in history is. It means your next decisions and actions will determine the course of history and the fate of nations. There is no doubt this is such a moment 

For now, the driver is Israel and it will not stop at the crossroad to assess the implications of its choices because it is drunk on power, propelled by infinite impunity, motivated by one single thought that it has been under the influence of for decades: grabbing maximum Palestinian land with minimum Palestinians.

Israel is under the illusion that this is the destination and, once it reaches it, it will be able to enjoy the view. It ignores that the road cannot end there and continues downhill towards an escalation of the conflict due to an oppressive regime combining colonialism and Apartheid. It does not care that humanity has been down this road before, and that former colonial powers and liberation movements alike have all reached the same conclusion: such a regime cannot prevail and will only lead to more injustice, instability and insecurity.

As many times before, Israel seems determined to ignore that big red STOP sign the international community erected to save lives. Israel thinks, as has been its experience so far, that it will not be fined or arrested. It believes that Security Council resolutions are binding for others; international courts have jurisdiction over others; sanctions are for others. Israel judges, but cannot be judged. The only true bias towards Israel is the one shielding it from accountability and emboldening it by considering its illegal actions as so-called “realities” that need to be endorsed rather than reversed.

Israel is testing the resolve of the international community, thinking its colonial appetite will prevail over the collective international will to advance regional peace and security and to preserve the rules-based multilateral order. We must prove it wrong.

The international community remains committed to the rule of international law and to the international consensus on a just solution for the Palestine question. It opposes annexation in no uncertain terms, as reaffirmed in recent weeks by statements made from capitals from every corner of the globe. The global position also remains unwavering on the illegality of Israel’s policies, including settlements. This wide international front, reflected in the gathering in the Jordan Valley just two days ago with broad Palestinian and international mobilization, in the UNRWA Ministerial meeting held yesterday, and in this High-Level Security Council meeting, is strong and remains our best hope.

Mr. President, Members of the Council,

Israel needs to know that annexation will have immediate and tangible repercussions. That is why we have called on the international community to adopt effective measures, including sanctions, to deter annexation and all other unlawful policies that have prepared the ground for it. It must also be made clear that annexation will irreversibly impact Israel’s relations with Palestine and the region. The Oslo accords were supposed to transform us into peace partners, but regrettably Israel continued waging a war against Palestinian lives and rights. It has violated the spirit and letter of the agreements, and with annexation, is taking a decision that will defeat their very purpose. These accords were supposed to pave the way for an end of occupation and a final peace agreement. They cannot survive annexation.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the UN Charter, let us honour the UN purposes and principles: respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction, the suppression of acts of aggression and the prohibition of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Annexation, whether partial or total, gradual or immediate, is the ultimate breach of the UN Charter and cannot go unchallenged.

From a legal perspective, annexation is not only unlawful, it is a crime under the Rome Statute. From a political perspective, it will ruin the chances for Israeli-Palestinian and regional peace. From a security perspective, it is utter nonsense as it replaces internationally-recognized borders that can be defended with a system of military control and subjugation that only fuels conflict and violence. It is, as stated in the Secretary General’s report, calamitous for Palestinians, Israelis and the region. The only explanation for it is an extremist ideology rooted in denial of the Palestinian right to this land, disregard for international law and negation of history.

It is this ideology that has undermined negotiations time and time again, with Israel using negotiations as cover for its continued colonization. This ideology fostered a narrative that Palestinians should be grateful that Israel was ready to give them back any part of their own land, fragmented and besieged enclaves, Bantustans, that Palestinians may even be allowed to call a “State”. Genuine negotiations must aim at ending occupation to achieve peace, not at perpetuating occupation and calling it peace. 

We remain committed to peace. We have presented our position in writing on all final status issues to the Quartet. Did the Quartet receive anything from Israel yet? We have never retracted any proposal we have made to find a compromise, unlike Israel which says we must renegotiate all over again with each new government. We have accepted the longstanding terms of reference and international law as the basis for negotiations, while Israel has rejected and violated them. We accepted the pre-1967 borders, agreeing to an historic compromise encompassing only 22% of Mandate Palestine, and yet Israel has spared no effort to undermine these borders. The entire world recognizes the significance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the promise it holds for our region. Where is the Israeli peace initiative? Even with the US plan, Israel said it is ready to take immediately whatever parts of our land the plan unlawfully grants it, while expressing readiness to negotiate the rest indefinitely.

That is why we call for an international peace conference and a multilateral mechanism that will help advance peace by holding the parties accountable, ensuring negotiations are neither a smoke screen nor a time-wasting exercise while Israel finalizes its colonial plans, but rather that negotiations are the path to just and lasting peace.

While Israel spares no effort to erase the pre-1967 borders, the Green Line, the world must consolidate them, including by recognizing the State of Palestine and by making any unilateral encroachment over the Green Line a red line. Every State has the power to help us change course before it is too late; the power to help end the Israeli occupation and salvage the two-State solution;  the power to save lives; the power to preserve our global order. In fact, they have a legal and moral obligation to use this power through non-recognition and non-assistance to illegal actions, distinction, and accountability. Upholding their obligations is the only path to ensure Israel abides by its own.

At the end, allow me Mr. President to thank you for convening this important meeting. I also wish to express our appreciation to the Secretary General for his report and relentless efforts and those of his envoy to advance peace. If Security Council resolutions, including 2334, were implemented, peace would be a reality tomorrow.

Allow me also to seize this opportunity to thank the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Ministers for their participation today, as a clear signal of the urgency and gravity of the matter. I also wish to thank your country and Council members, past, present and incoming, for their consistent, principled stances, including against annexation. Allow me finally to thank the countries and the groups, including the Arab group, which has been fully mobilized in the lead up to this meeting, the OIC, NAM, the EU, that continue working to advance freedom, justice and peace, conscious of how this could transform our region and the world.

Mr. President,

The Secretary General in his report highlighted the urgency of reversing this dangerous trajectory we are on. We are at a crossroad and to reverse course, before it is too late, the international community must take hold of the steering wheel.

Thank you, Mr. President.

10 January 2020 – Escalating Illegal Israeli Settlement Activities

Excellency,     

I regret that I am once again compelled to draw your attention to the illegal colonization campaign being carried out in Occupied Palestine by Israel, the occupying Power.

In every decision and action concerning the Palestinian land, Israeli government and military officials persist in flagrant disrespect of international law and the authority of the Security Council and are even seemingly undeterred by the specter of an investigation by the International Criminal Court, blatantly challenging both the rules-based order and the international community as a whole.

At the most fundamental human level, such actions continue to inflict immense hardship and suffering on the Palestinian civilian population, including thousands upon thousands of families who have been cruelly dispossessed of their land, homes, properties and livelihoods and forcibly displaced. Moreover, these actions severely undermine peace prospects, making the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders more remote than ever and a one-State, apartheid reality more inevitable, to the detriment of all who live on this land.

From the start of 2020, the Israeli government has continued the same destructive trends as in 2019, escalating settlement activities with the obvious aim of not only entrenching its illegal occupation but annexing our land, an unlawful objective publicly declared by various Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet. As typical of this ruthless occupation, the latest plans for the construction of thousands more illegal colonial settlement units in our land were revealed as the Palestinian people were in the midst of holiday celebrations, undermining spirits and hopes for the new year.

As per this most recent announcement, Israel, the occupying Power, is planning the construction of at least 2,000 more settlement units in Occupied Palestine. These settlements will result in the unlawful transfer of thousands more Israeli settlers to our land and further confiscation and exploitation of our natural resources, all in grave violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and countless United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which demanded an immediate and complete cessation of all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

As part of this illegal campaign, Israel, the occupying Power, has also continued its demolition of Palestinian homes in further grave breach of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the destruction of civilian property. Just this week, demolition orders were issued to 12 Palestinian homes in the Isawiyeh neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem, which has been most heavily targeted by this illegal policy. If carried out, these demolitions will render yet dozens more Palestinians, including women and children, homeless. In 2019, it was documented that the occupation authorities destroyed or seized 617 homes and structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, forcibly displacing 898 Palestinians. In addition to homes, demolished properties included many donor-funded humanitarian projects, agricultural structures, water pipes, wells and solar panels, with the majority located in so-called “Area C” of the West Bank, openly targeted by Israel for annexation.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is leading this frenzied, illegal colonization campaign, has continued to openly threaten annexation, bragging about his intentions to annex the settlements and the Jordan Valley and with the support of the United States of America. In this regard, in total contempt of international law and the repeated calls of the international community to cease these illegal actions, he recently declared: “We are going to bring US recognition for our sovereignty in the Jordan Valley [and] in all the settlements, those in the blocs and those that are beyond it”.

His threats, which have escalated with every round of the ongoing Israeli election campaign, are being loudly echoed by others Israeli officials, including the so-called “Minister of Defense”, who is in full collaboration with settler leaders and is a settler himself and who recently mocked the United Nations, saying “I am not the United Nations… I have a policy of fully supporting the settlements”. Such comments, and more so their illegal plans and schemes, have been undoubtedly emboldened by the absolute political support and diplomatic protection of such impunity by the current US administration.

In this regard, it is stunning that the US Ambassador to Israel is actively promoting the illegal positions and objectives of the occupying Power in full complicity with its crimes. He is on record as stating just this week, using Biblical terminology to refer to the occupied West Bank, “when we came into office the lingering issues included three of significant importance: the status of 1) Jerusalem, 2) the Golan Heights and 3) Judea and Samaria. We have approached them in ascending order of complexity.”  Following the declarations of the US administration in December 2017 on Jerusalem, in March 2019 on the Occupied Syrian Golan, and in November 2019 on Israeli settlements, the meaning of such statements is starkly clear in encouraging and supporting Israeli settlement activities and annexation plans.

All Israeli colonization measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, must be condemned and neither threats nor attempts at annexation should go unchallenged. Such actions constitute flagrant breaches of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, and direct violations of United Nations resolutions, including numerous Security Council resolutions that have explicitly demanded the cessation of such illegal policies and practices.

It is the duty of the Security Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to act to uphold the rule of law, ensure accountability, and bring a halt to this illegal behavior, which is depriving our people of its patrimony and rights, including the inalienable right to self-determination, forcibly displacing them from their land, causing widespread human suffering and humanitarian need, and undermining the chances for a peaceful solution. Moreover, it is the duty of the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for such war crimes, which these colonization activities, perpetrated across more than five decades incessantly and systematically, clearly constitute.

Absent consequences, it is clear that Israel, the occupying Power, will persist with such crimes, irreversibly dismantling the two-State solution and destroying the foundations of a peaceful solution. The Palestinian leadership therefore reiterates its call upon the international community, at the forefront the Security Council, to act urgently to address this illegal situation in accordance with international law and the resolutions adopted by its highest organs.

Only accountability can end such impunity, deter future violations and salvage the prospects for a just peace that will allow the Palestinian people to finally live freely and equally in their homeland, side by side with all of their neighbors in peace and security.

 This letter is in follow-up to our 678 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 11 December 2019 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2019/xxx) 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

            Minister, 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”, 18 December 2019

Madam President,

I congratulate you for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council during this month. We thank the UN Special Coordinator, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his presentation of the report of the Secretary General, and the briefer for her testimony.

Madam President,

As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas, Palestinian Christians joined them in decorating trees, singing carols, and praying for peace in the holy land and across the globe. But the reality of occupation did not spare them, even in this special period of the year. Palestinian Christians from Gaza were barred by Israel from celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the two twin cities separated for the first time in history by a shameful wall.

As Palestinians prepare to welcome another year, their ordeal is nowhere close to an end. They continue to fear for their lives, for their families, for their homes and for their future. And yet, they find everyday the courage to persevere. They remain steadfast in the face of adversity and carry the hope to live and thrive on their own land, in dignity and freedom.

Madam President,

Allow me to draw here a map of our reality. Two words can summarize it: “Confinement” for Palestinians. “Expansion” for illegal Israeli settlements. The members of the Council may have in mind when I say the word confinement, and rightly so, the two million Palestinians besieged in the Gaza Strip. But Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have also been confined to the areas where they already lived in 1967.

In the so-called Area C, which represents 60% of the West Bank, and includes the resource-rich Jordan Valley, only 1% has been planned for Palestinian development, while 70% of that area is included within the boundaries of the regional councils of illegal Israeli settlements. Similarly, only 13% of East Jerusalem is zoned for Palestinian construction, much of which is already built-up, while 35% of land in East Jerusalem has been confiscated for Israeli settlement use.

The purpose of this policy is crystal clear: Acquiring maximum Palestinian land with minimum Palestinians. Illegal annexation of Palestinian land is not an unexpected result of the Israeli occupation, it is its overarching objective.

Madam President,

The Security Council adopted three years ago its resolution 2334, reaffirming the international consensus regarding just and lasting peace based on international law and identifying the obligations of the parties and of the international community at large. Had there been enforcement and accountability, I assure you the report of the Secretary General today would be extremely different. But instead, Israeli exceptionalism and impunity continued, emboldening Israel to pursue and entrench its illegal occupation, to the detriment of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights. Peace requires fulfilment of these rights and certainly not acceptance of their continued denial.

Madam President,

This morning, the General Assembly is adopting the resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State. This resolution garners the support of over 90% of the UN membership. Is this support an expression of a bias against Israel? Can resolutions about Palestinian rights, the peaceful settlement of the conflict, a shared Jerusalem, or against Israeli settlements be characterized as anti-Israel?

The General Assembly’s resolutions regarding Palestine are firmly rooted in the UN Charter, international law, human rights and the resolutions of this very Council. And yet, it is cynically called biased and one-sided, with Israel’s representative calling the Assembly, i.e. the countries comprising it, “morally bankrupt”. The General Assembly is more universal and representative today than at any point in history, so Israel can not celebrate resolution 181 and commend the General Assembly for adopting it 70 years ago, while dismissing all other resolutions adopted since. Israel’s very selective approach to UN resolutions and international law, claiming rights and dismissing obligations, should never be condoned nor encouraged.

The claim that the UN passes a disproportionate number of resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a distortion that dismisses key facts and context. Any reference to the number of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on the Palestine question must be seen in the context of the paralysis of the Security Council when it comes to this conflict. There lies the real imbalance, the real bias.

In the past decade, out of 636 Security Council resolutions, only 2 were adopted on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. TWO – 1860 (2009) and 2334 (2016). Likewise, out of 271 Security Council Presidential Statements in the past decade, only 3 PRSTs concerned Palestine/Israel. THREE. 

So claims that the UN is singling out Israel through an inordinate number of resolutions is selective and misleading at best, biased at worst, because such claims ignore the situation in this Council, where the opposite is true and any effort to address Israel’s blatant contempt of international law, the authority of the Council and its resolutions, including 2334, as just conveyed once again in the Secretary-General’s report, is obstructed.

The Security Council did not adopt any resolution regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict under Chapter VII – even though more than 50% of the resolutions adopted regarding other conflicts in these past 10 years have been under Chapter VII and even as the situation demonstrates the necessity for such endeavor.

The fate of the region lies to a great extent in the capacity of the international community to demonstrate that the international will to achieve peace is stronger than the Israeli will to colonize Palestinian land. We call on the Council and all States to act now to advance accountability and justice, freedom and peace, for the sake of the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, and future generations, for the sake of regional and global peace and security and the international rules-based order.

Madam President,

Before concluding, I wish to take a moment to convey our deep appreciation to the members of the Security Council whose terms will soon end and to recognize their service with principle and distinction throughout their tenures. We congratulate and thank Kuwait, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Peru and Poland.

Thank you, Madam President.

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.

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.

23 July 2019 – 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”

Mr. President,

We thank the Peruvian Presidency for convening this important meeting and for your able leadership of the Security Council’s agenda.

We also thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary Di Carlo for her briefing on the situation, one that regrettably worsens every day that action to ensure justice is delayed and that a political horizon for a peaceful solution remains obstructed.

Mr. President,

We have come to this chamber time after time, appealing to, calling on and imploring on the Security Council to act – to alleviate the human suffering, to salvage peace prospects and to contribute to making that peace a reality. We remain convinced that such action – in line with international law, the Council’s resolutions and its Charter responsibility for international peace and security  – is the only way to bring an end to this grave injustice.

Respect for the law and human rights and establishment of justice are the only way forward. Those who would tell us otherwise are setting us up for decades more of suffering and insecurity for all – Palestinians, Israelis and the entire region.

After more than 52 years of Israel’s illegal occupation of our land, its gross, violent denial of our people’s rights and their constant dispossession and displacement, it is past high-time to redress this situation, justly and permanently. This is a blatant situation of belligerent, colonial foreign occupation – attested to by any measure of the law and by this Council, the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, countless regional and global organizations, academia, and the international community in nearly its entirety – and it must be brought to an end. [Read more…]

25 June 2019 – Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Mr. Secretary-General, President of the General Assembly, Commissioner-General of UNRWA,

Excellencies,

On behalf of my delegation, I express our appreciation to the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly for convening this annual Pledging Conference, recognizing UNRWA’s crucial role in providing vital humanitarian assistance to the Palestine refugees and the urgent need to mobilize support to once again address the Agency’s funding shortfall to ensure uninterrupted implementation of its General Assembly mandate. We are grateful for their strong support.

We renew our appreciation as well to Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl for his most able and dedicated leadership of UNRWA in these extremely difficult times. We commend his active outreach and engagement with the host countries and donor countries around the world aimed at securing needed resources and support for UNRWA, as well as his principled advocacy aimed at alleviating the plight of the Palestine refugees and ensuring respect for their rights and dignity, so inspiringly represented by the testimonies of the UNRWA student parliamentarians we heard today – Hanan and Hatem – and we deeply thank them for their messages of hope. [Read more…]