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(29 Nov 2011) On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Statement by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and President of the Palestinian National Authority, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

29 November 2011 (Check Against Delivery)

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Nassir  Abdulaziz Al-Nasser,
President of the General Assembly of the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral,
President of the Security Council
H.E. Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo,
Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the name of the Palestinian people, I extend my best regards and profound thanks to all of you for your participation in commemorating this day, whether through your messages on this occasion, or through your attendance of this annual commemoration, in expression of your solidarity with the Palestinian people and their aspirations towards the attainment of their legitimate rights to self-determination, ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of their sovereign State on the 4th of June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

        We highly appreciate the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the efforts and initiatives of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman, H.E. Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, aimed at the implementation of United Nations resolutions and reminding the international community that the question of Palestine began at the United Nations in 1947, when a resolution was adopted to  partition Palestine into two States, Israel and Palestine. But one has been established, the State of Israel, on an area that is more than what has been designated to it by the Partition resolution. When Israel was admitted in 1949 as member of the United Nations, this admission was accompanied by two conditions, namely Israel's commitment to the Partition resolution and the establishment of the Palestinian State, and to resolution 194 (III) on the return of Palestine refugees to their homes and compensation.
The war of June 1967 led to the occupation of the remaining territory of historical Palestine, i.e. the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Security Council has adopted resolution 242 (1967), which is based on two principles, namely, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and the call for peace in return of withdrawal from the territory.

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends
The images of historical injustices inflicted on the Palestinian people are reflected in different ways. There are nearly five million displaced refugees, and there is the colonial settlement occupation that is expanding every day in the West Bank, and the movement to Judaize East Jerusalem by adopting means of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim presence, and the construction of the apartheid Wall, and the unjust siege of the Gaza Strip and other illegal Israeli practices.
Although the United Nations has made efforts, which we appreciate, to address the tragedy of our people, whether through the assistance provided by UNRWA, or through  the various recommendations and resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, Israel continues to reject these resolutions, as if it is a State above the law.

            We have expressed our readiness for many years to reach a solution to the conflict with Israel that ensures relative justice, and conforms with international resolutions and initiatives through the establishment of our Palestinian State on only ​​22 percent of the territory of historical Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to reach a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of Palestine refugees in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194(III).

            We have entered direct and indirect negotiations with Israel for many years since the Oslo Accords in 1993, with the aim of achieving the two-State solution, and applying the principle of land for peace, but Israel has continued its settlement activities, and has  not responded to or has disregarded all the international statements and declarations, which have declared and still declare that settlement activities are illegal and an obstacle to peace.
Our decision to apply for membership of the United Nations is our legitimate right, whose legitimacy is based on the Partition resolution, which was adopted on 29 November 1947. This move is not a unilateral action, as we call for the recognition of our State on the basis of the 1967 borders in implementation of what was stipulated in the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles, including land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap. Moreover, this recognition is not a substitute for negotiations, but rather a complement to it, provided that the Government of Israel has the intention to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders.

            It is unjust to impose sanctions upon us because we have gained the membership of UNESCO, and Israel has no right to seize and confiscate the proceeds of the customs duties and tax revenues which belong to the Palestinian people.  We do not want and we do not seek to de-legitimize Israel by applying for membership in the United Nations, but to de-legitimize its settlement activities and the seizure of our occupied lands which Israel deals with as if they are disputed territories.

            What we regret and causes pain and great concern to us is applying international law selectively and United Nations resolutions with double standards, so that the strong disregard the law and the weak alone pay the price.

            On this day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we affirm that we are a people clinging to our land and we will remain in it. And we have faith that every person with conscience in this world, and every person respecting the United Nations Charter, will support and contribute to enabling our people to exercise their right to self-determination and the achievement of the independence of their free and sovereign State.

        The State of Palestine, Ladies and Gentlemen, will be, God willing, a democratic, pluralistic State, in which there will be no discrimination on the basis of religion or race, a peaceful State that wants to live in peace and security alongside Israel and the rest of the countries of the region, a State whose time for independence has come after the passing of sixty-four years.

         With best regards, profound gratitude and appreciation.
          May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

                                                                  Mahmoud Abbas
                                                     President of the State of Palestine
                                                 Chairman of the Executive Committee of
                                        the Palestine Liberation Organization
                                              President of the Palestinian National Authority