E. Ambassador Ahmed A. Al-Jarman
The Permanent Representative
At the outset, I should like to thank the President of the General Assembly for having convened this important meeting, which the General Assembly organizes every year in conjunction with the world’s celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to renew the commitment and support of the international community for the efforts made by the Palestinian people towards exercising their inalienable rights to determine their destiny, attain independence and freedom, and return to their homeland.
I wish also to seize this opportunity to express my country’s appreciation of and support for the efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman, Ambassador Paul Badji.
Today, the international community recalls the 61 years of suffering, misery and deprivation of the Palestinian people, which started in 1948 with Israel’s occupation of their land and continues to this very day owing to Israel’s serious and repeated violations of international law and human rights. Such human suffering, which the Palestinian people have endured collectively and individually, has continued for years before the eyes of the world.
The Palestinian people — more than half of whom live in exile or are in refugee camps and are deprived of their most basic rights, including their legitimate right to return to their homeland and live in peace with their neighbours, like other peoples — are very disappointed today at the many unfulfilled promises regarding achieving their aspirations for freedom, independence and self-determination, in accordance with international law and resolutions of international legitimacy. Their disappointment has especially increased with the growing hostile policies of the present Israeli Government, which follows an intensive plan for the illegal confiscation of more Palestinian lands and properties, expansion of illegal settlements and the building of the separation wall in the occupied Palestinian cities and villages, particularly in Jerusalem and its surroundings, with a view to changing the demographic composition of East Jerusalem and its legal structure and Arab identity in order to create a new reality on the ground that would lead to a new interruption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
The United Arab Emirates, which expresses its grave concern at the continued deterioration of the already desperate and dangerous situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, condemns Israel’s policies and its aggressive and countless violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and its total impunity for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza. The United Arab Emirates also condemns the continued collective punishment measures imposed by Israel on Gaza, including the frequent closures.
The United Arab Emirates reiterates the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Palestinian territory as one contiguous political entity in the West Bank and Gaza under the Palestinian Authority and also welcomes efforts in that regard by the Arab Republic of Egypt to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and accord. The United Arab Emirates demands that the international community — represented by the United Nations, including the Security Council and other agencies of the Organization, each within its own field of competence, as well as the members of the Quartet — increase effective efforts and put further political and economic pressures on Israel to cease its aggression and settlement building and renounce its current hard-line political positions and comply with the international demands that it correct the unlawful present reality it has created in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in East Jerusalem.
Israel should stop immediately, permanently and unconditionally, under international oversight, all its present settlement activities and remove what is already built, including the separation wall in the West Bank and around Jerusalem, in compliance with relevant international laws and the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. We further demand that Israel be compelled to lift all restrictions on movement and passage, re-open the crossings in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority institutions in occupied East Jerusalem, and release all the Palestinian prisoners, in compliance with its commitments to international law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention. That will lead to a final, permanent and just settlement to all aspects of the Palestinian question, including a just settlement to the issues of Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem and the final demarcation of the borders of the two States, Israel and Palestine, according to the provisions of the road map, the Annapolis Conference understandings, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), all relevant General Assembly resolutions, in particular 181 (II) and 194 (III), the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for the unconditional complete withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territories.
In that context, we renew our demand to implement the recommendations of the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (A/HRC/12/48), identify those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Gaza Strip and bring them to justice, and prevent the continuation of impunity, in compliance with Assembly resolution 64/10.
The United Arab Emirates believes that the Arab-Israeli conflict, which continues to dominate all other issues in the Middle East, is the root of the tension, violence and persistent instability in the region. We renew today our commitment to the choice of peace with the rest of the Arab countries, based on implementation of the principles of international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace. We stress that establishing permanent, just and comprehensive peace and security in the region is conditional on the sincerity of the international community in showing a genuine and earnest political will to put an end to Israel’s aggression and intransigence, to revive the peace process and to ensure a complete withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and the Sheba’a farms and the village of Al-Ghajar in Lebanon.
We hope that our deliberations on this item will contribute to strengthening the important, major role that the United Nations plays in reaching a settlement for the Palestinian problem and the situation in the Middle East, in accordance with the Charter. We urge the international community, especially the donor countries and parties, to increase political, moral and financial support to the Palestinian people so as to alleviate their exacerbated humanitarian crisis until the just realization of their rights and the fulfilment of their aspirations to freedom, independence and the establishment of their State of Palestine as a viable independent State, on the basis of the two-State solution.