AMBASSADOR RASTAM MOHD ISA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
ON ILLEGAL ISRAELI ACTIONS IN OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM AND THE
REST OF THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
THE RESUMED TENTH
EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
MONDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2003
On behalf of the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), I wish to thank you, for having resumed the Tenth
Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly.
The Non-Aligned Movement has fully supported the request of the Arab
Group for the resumption of this emergency special session.
We regard this meeting as necessary to enable a more representative
membership of the United Nations to take decisive action to address an extremely
pressing issue concerning illegal Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, specifically, the construction of the Israeli expansionist wall in
the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
We regret that it has been necessary to resume this session so soon after
the last time in September due to a further failure of the Security Council on
14 October 2003 to adopt another important resolution concerning Palestine.
The Non-Aligned Movement is deeply disappointed that the Security Council
had been prevented from declaring the illegality of the Israeli expansionist
wall and demanding its destruction as well as the immediate cessation of its
construction. It is unfortunate
that a veto once again had been exercised in the Security Council.
This was the twenty-seventh veto on a draft resolution pertaining to the
question of Palestine. This latest veto does not bode well for future progress
towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution to end the suffering
of both Palestinians and Israelis. Unfortunately, non-action by the Security
Council would be perceived by many as the Councilís approval of Israelís
inhumane and repressive policies and practices, allowing the situation to slide
further away from the two States solution envision in the Road Map.
The Non-Aligned Movement has often reiterated its condemnation of
violence and terrorism. We condemn
the killing and maiming of innocent civilians, including in the recent attacks
in Haifa and Gaza. Equally, we are
outraged at and condemn the intensification of Israeli military operations
against the Palestinians, including recently in Rafah, that has resulted in the
killing and injury of innocent civilians and the destruction of numerous
Palestinian homes, infrastructure and facilities. We wish to express our
condolences to the families and victims of these senseless acts, be they
Palestinians, Israelis or Americans.
We find it necessary again to remind the General Assembly that the crux
of this ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict is not terrorism.
It is the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.
Israelís actions must be seen for what they are.
Currently, Israeli actions somehow points to only one conclusion; they
are for the perpetuation of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
The General Assembly must not lose sight of this.
The Israeli expansionist wall has been and continues to be constructed in
the Occupied Palestinian Territory and it cannot be justified as a measure to
prevent terrorist attacks targeted at Israeli citizens.
Israel must not be allowed to use security as a pretext to annex
The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms its position on the Israeli
expansionist wall as clearly expressed during the debate in the Security Council
on 14 October 2003. In brief, we reiterate that the Israeli expansionist wall
constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is illegal, must be dismantled
and its further construction immediately discontinued, for the following
The wall, sections of which are constructed deep inside the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, departs from the Armistice Line of 1949 and therefore is
illegal under international law;
The wall gravely violates the Fourth Geneva Convention in that it
involves the illegal, de facto annexation of massive areas of Palestinian land
and resources; the transfer of a large number of Palestinian civilians; and
further deprivation of human rights among the Palestinians, resulting in further
dire humanitarian consequences among an already deprived people;
The wall presents a major obstacle to the implementation of the Road Map
as it undermines the creation of a viable contiguous Palestinian State and
thereby diminishing the realization of the two States solution; and
The wall could trigger
the end of the Middle East peace process since it possesses the potential of
provoking further unprecedented violence among the severely oppressed
Palestinians in their desperate effort to survive under the brutal oppression of
the Israeli Government.
The Non-Aligned Movement calls on this august body to support the two
draft resolutions tabled before us. We believe that an advisory opinion from the
International Court of Justice on Israelís legal obligation to cease
construction of the wall would provide an independent and impartial
pronouncement on the status of the legality of the wall based on international
law and taking into account relevant Security Council and General Assembly
resolutions. As the principal
judicial organ of the United Nations that has undoubtedly played an important
role in the promotion of peace and harmony through the upholding of the rule of
law, the Court would be the most suitable forum to present a just answer to this
issue to reinforce the diplomatic efforts that have been undertaken and
We call on this General Assembly to muster the necessary political will,
wisdom and courage to do what is right and just for the peoples of the region.
It must do all it can to prevent the further deterioration of the
situation on the ground. We fear for the inevitable consequences if the wall
were to continue along its planned path. The
Non-Aligned Movement firmly believes that the passage of the resolutions
concerning the wall would send a powerful message to Israel. It would be a
message declaring the strong opposition of the international community to the
construction of the expansionist wall that deviates from the Armistice Line of
1949. It would also demonstrate in a tangible way, the General Assemblyís
concern and sympathy for the dire plight of the Palestinians who have been
severely disadvantaged by the existence and construction of the wall; the plight
of the people of Qalqilya and thousands of others in Palestinian towns, villages
and farms who will virtually become prisoners behind the wall, its fences,
trenches and security roads.
It would be most unfortunate and tragic indeed, if the General Assembly
were to fail in its responsibility to uphold justice and promote peace and in
preventing further victimization of the Palestinian people.
Justice must be done in Palestine. We
must be serious in ensuring the success of the Road Map.
Thank you, Mr. President.