Every day, we are still witnessing more aggressive Israeli practices that push the region to unprecedented levels of tension and instability, whether through its massacres of civilians in occupied Palestine, or through its continued policies of settlement, Judaization, siege, arbitrary detention, forced displacement and racial discrimination in the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan, in addition to the escalation of its military attacks on Syrian territories, infrastructure, and vital facilities.
The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands, and its practices against the Arab people in Palestine and the Syrian Golan, which represent grave violations of international law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, and demands not to remain silent about these practices, or to allow Israel to continue with impunity. Syria also stresses that the continuation of some countries to support these Israeli practices, or to remain silent about them, makes them complicit in these crimes, and shows the ugliness of the double standards approach they follow.
Syria reaffirms its support for the brotherly Palestinian people in their struggle to liberate their occupied land, to establish their independent, sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital, and to guarantee the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. It also affirms its support for Palestine's decision to obtain the long-awaited full membership in the United Nations and request that the acceptance of this membership not to be obstructed by some members of the Security Council.
The occupied Syrian Golan is in the heart of every Syrian, and our right to restore it completely up to the June 4th, 1967, line is an inalienable right that is not subject to bargaining or pressure, it is an imprescriptible right which guaranteed by international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution No. 497 for the year 1981.
And we say to those who have cracked our heads during the last few months with their lectures on the need to respect the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of international legitimacy: why did we not hear your voice against Israel's continued occupation of the Syrian Golan since 1967?, and why do we not see your enthusiasm in rejecting Israel’s decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan and applying its laws to it?, and why do not you demand Israel to implement Resolution 497, which considered its decision null and void and without legal effect? Or is the call for respecting the Charter and implementing Security Council resolutions for some countries in this Council, an approach subject to selectivity and double standards?
The Israeli occupation authorities in the Syrian Golan have been practicing, since 1967 until now, the most heinous and systematic forms of gross and systematic violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. Furthermore, Israel constantly adds new chapters to its violations. Since the beginning of the terrorist war on Syria in 2011, Israel has been involved in supporting terrorist organizations, primarily ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Israel has recently resorted to systematic and deliberate targeting of civilian facilities, including civilian ports and airports, which endangers the lives of civilians, affects the delivery of international humanitarian aid, and threatens peace and security in the region and the world.
Syria calls on the Security Council to abandon its silence and to urgently assume its responsibilities to stop the repeated Israeli attacks on Syrian sovereignty, and to hold the occupation authorities accountable for all their violations and aggressive practices that threaten regional and international peace and security. It affirms that it will exercise its legitimate right to defend its land and people by all necessary means.
My delegation once again calls upon the representatives of the Secretariat to fulfill their mandate, and not to remain silent about or cover up Israeli practices in their reports and briefings. In this regard, my delegation is surprised that Mr. Wennsland insists, in his briefings, on ignoring the Israeli practices in the occupied Syrian Golan, and its continuous military attacks on Syrian sovereignty - some of them are launched from the side of the occupied Syrian Golan.
In every meeting on this item, the European Union presents a statement in which it diverts the discussion from its main goal of exposing the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities, by including issues related to the Syrian issue that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the meeting, to distract the attention of this Council about those aggressive Israeli practices.
It is not surprising that the phrases of the European Union statement are scattered and that its principles are changed and turned into a clumsy defense based on clear manipulation of the rules of international law, when it comes to condemning the grave violations of Israel - the occupying power - and its arbitrary practices against the people of the occupied Syrian Golan or its aggression against the Syrian people.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the voice of the European Union fades when it comes to condemning the repeated Israeli attacks on Syria's sovereignty and its vital civilian facilities, which represents a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions.
While the voice of the European Union is only raised to confirm its determination to extend and expand its illegal and inhumane economic siege, its collective punishment of the Syrian people, and its quest to prolong the crisis in Syria, in complete disregard of the catastrophic negative impacts of its coercive measures, and of the repeated calls from the United Nations Secretary-General to lift these measures or mitigate them.
It is shameful that the European Union insists on imposing its political conditions on humanitarian and development work in Syria, which impedes early recovery efforts and the enhancement of the resilience of Syrians, deprives them of a dignified life, prevents the displaced and refugees from returning, and pushes the rest of the Syrians to displacement and migration.
My delegation calls on the European Union to correct its compass and stop its hostile policies against Syria and lifts its measures that punish Syrian people.
Thank you, Mr. President.