Highlighting “one deeply troubling conclusion” from the advance report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, its Chairman told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today that its several egregious findings this year might amount to a strategy to either force the Palestinian people off their land or so severely marginalize them as to establish and maintain a system of permanent suppression.
ESSIKA COMESANA PERDOMO (Cuba), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed appreciation for the work of the Special Committee, especially since it was conducted under difficult circumstances. She expressed her concern over increasing violence by Israel against Palestinians in the occupied territory, particularly in Gaza, where poverty rate and number of displacements were alarming. She also raised the issue of the blockade, which was limiting education prospects for young people, as it was impossible to import the necessary materials to build new schools. Further, armed force was being used against a defenceless population that included women, children and the elderly.She said that efforts by the international community to resolve the conflict had been fruitless, and Israeli authorities had “brazenly scorned” international law. The Security Council could still not deal seriously with the subject, as there was a double standard and one of its members used or threatened to use its veto power. Israeli policies of closures, settlements, and confiscations of large amounts of land made one ask whether Israeli truly wanted peace. All of its actions as an occupying Power were attempts to change the legal and demographic situation on the ground. Cuba condemned those actions, including in the Syrian Golan, since 1967, as those were violations of international law, the United Nations Charter and various resolutions. In closing, she expressed her country’s support for the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to an independent sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital, and demanded the unconditional return of all their land, which was the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace.
IHAB HAMED (Syria) noted with satisfaction the role of the Special Committee, whose reports were “very professional, neutral and true”. For 60 years, the international community had witnessed the massive and systematic violation of human rights, as well as of legal instruments, moral, ethical and humanitarian norms. In the seventh decade of the conflict, he asked how much more time must pass and how many more people must suffer, before serious efforts were taken to end the occupation. Did the inhabitants of Gaza need to die of hunger for the blockade to be lifted? The reports of dozens of investigative committees had been submitted over the years - were those not sufficient to attest to the gravity of the situation? An enormous number of resolutions had asked Israel to end the occupation in the Arab territories and had condemned the systematic and gross violation of human rights — were they not sufficient to oblige Israel to put an end to the occupation and to oblige countries to stop supporting Israel?He said that there was an ongoing tragedy in the occupied Golan, in which Syrians were suffering under an Israeli occupation that involved terrorist and oppressive policies, racial discrimination and arbitrary detentions. Syrians were prevented from travelling outside the occupied territory, while Israelis continued building settlements, in an effort to redraw the geographic map. He also cited the Israeli military’s use of explosive mines, which had claimed more than 726 victims, including children. He reiterated his delegation’s call on the international community to ensure that the border line was moved back to where it was on 4 June 1967. In closing, he said the credibility of the United Nations was being “put to the test”, and the Organization must uphold its responsibilities. Further, a just and global peace in the Middle East would not be possible without resumption of the Madrid negotiations.
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