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.

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.

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, 18 October 2018

Mr. President,

We warmly congratulate the Plurinational State of Bolivia on its Presidency of the Security Council and express our appreciation to you for your skilled leadership of the Council.

I thank UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing to the Council today. I also extend our thanks to Mr. Hagai Elad, Executive Director of B’tselem, for his presentation, further exposing the dismal realities of the situation and sharing the serious concerns of civil society as they witness the distress of a people whose human rights are being so grossly violated and witness the destruction of the chances for peace and stability for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Mr. President,

Against this backdrop and in view of the many regrettable developments since our last debate, including escalating punitive measures against the Palestinian people and leadership, it is necessary to clarify certain matters.

Standing up for yourself and your rights should never be equated with disrespect of anyone or misconstrued as a provocation. It is, in fact, an utmost expression of respect for one’s rights and dignity, regardless of the consequences.

When the American patriot Patrick Henry declared “give me liberty or give me death”, he was not disrespecting or provoking anyone, but rather insisting on his right to live freely. It was considered an act of heroism, moral courage, and reverence for the liberty due to all humankind. [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, New York, 24 July 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I wish to congratulate the Russian Federation on their successful presidency of the Council and express appreciation to Sweden for their able leadership of the Council’s important agenda for this month. We also thank Special Coordinator and Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his briefing and efforts.

Mr. President,

During this month, the United States of America and the Republic of France proudly celebrated the anniversaries of their independence. The US declaration of independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The French declaration of human and citizen rights states that all men are born and remain free and equal in rights.

These truths and rights are universal and inalienable and must be recognized for every nation in the world with no exception. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, United Nations Security Council, The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, Vote on Draft Resolution on Protection of Palestinian Civilians, 1 June 2018

Mr. President,

We congratulate the Russian Federation on its Presidency of the Security Council and express our sincere thanks for your ready response to the request to convene today’s meeting.

We also wish to recognize Poland for its skilled leadership of the Security Council last month, including the meetings held to address the Palestine question and the important debates on international law and the protection of civilians, so relevant to the grave crises we face at this moment. We will never forget their gesture of asking for a moment of silence to honor the innocent Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

Mr. President,

We express our deep appreciation to the fraternal country of Kuwait for its tabling of the draft resolution just voted upon by the Security Council and for the Kuwaiti delegation’s tireless efforts to ensure the Council’s serious consideration of our repeated calls for international protection for the Palestinian people. We commend them for the comprehensive and transparent process undertaken to advance this issue, along with other Council members. We regret, however, the extreme mal-intent by one Council member aimed at undermining this process and undermining the Council’s credibility and authority.

We are grateful to all of the countries that voted in favor of the draft resolution, despite the veto cast today by the United States that has regrettably prevented adoption of the draft and despite the tensions and confusion caused. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Palestine Question, 15 May 2018

At the outset, I thank Poland, in its capacity as President of the Security Council, for convening this emergency meeting. We also express gratitude for the sympathy and condolences expressed by all members of the Security Council, including during the minute of silence honoring our martyrs.

We thank Council members for having understood the urgency to address the grave, deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in the Gaza Strip, due to the heinous, deliberate crimes committed by Israel against unarmed Palestinian civilians. In addition, we thank the fraternal State of Kuwait for its efforts as the only Arab member of the Security Council. We also thank Mr. Nickolay Mladenov for his briefing.

We are meeting today at a tragic and painful moment for the Palestinian people, with great sorrow and bitterness. We convey our sincerest condolences to the families of the martyrs, may they rest in peace. We wish a speedy recovery to all those who have been wounded as a result of the brutal Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, who expressed their resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip on the first evening of the sacred month of Ramadan. We condemn in the strongest terms the odious massacre committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip. We call for an immediate halt to the military aggression against our people and for a transparent, independent and internationally led investigation. [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, New York, 25 January 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I congratulate Kazakhstan on assuming the Security Council Presidency and express appreciation for your able leadership of the Council’s important agenda.

We thank United Nations Special Coordinator and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his briefing.

Mr. President,

Today, I also extend our warmest congratulations to the new elected members of the Council – Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Peru and Poland, wishing them all success in upholding their responsibilities in accordance with the Charter and the Council’s resolutions, as you collectively seek to fulfill the duty to maintain international peace and security. [Read more…]

18 July 2014 — Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Emergency Meeting

 

Mr. President,

We have called for this emergency meeting of the Security Council due to the existential crisis being faced by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.  With every moment that passes, the life of another Palestinian child or mother or father is cruelly taken by the Israeli occupying forces in their murderous rampage of airstrikes and artillery bombardment against civilian areas and now a massive ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, threatening the safety and survival of the entire Palestinian civilian population. As we were driving to this meeting, four additional children were killed. There names are: Rizeq Al Hayek (age 2), Sarah Bustan (age 13), Imad Ilwan (age 7)  Qasem Ilwan (age 10).

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