Every time the Security Council holds a meeting on this agenda item, we find ourselves before new blatant Israeli aggression against the Arab people, be it in Palestine, Syria or south Lebanon. That comes amid complete and unacceptable silence on the part of the Council. Two days ago, the Israeli occupation entity launched a flagrant attack on Syrian sovereignty from the Syrian Arab Golan, which has been under occupation since 4 June 1967. It targeted the suburbs of the city of Damascus, which led to three military martyrs and the injury of seven others, in addition to material losses.
The escalating and hysterical aggression of the Israeli occupation forces came under the protective umbrella of the United States of America and its Western allies. That led Israel to persist in targeting civilians and civilian facilities, as was the case in its aggression against Damascus International Airport on 10 June, which endangered civilians and fully halted airport operations for a few weeks, including halting United Nations humanitarian flights. That was preceded by similar aggression against the commercial port of Latakia at the end of last year, which led to massive damage to the civilian structure of the port and to humanitarian materials owned by the United Nations.
Our Arab people in the occupied Palestinian territories and the occupied Syrian Golan are subjected in parallel to aggressive practices by the Israeli occupation authorities, in clear violation of the principles of international law and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, in particular resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 497 (1981). Israel, the occupying Power, continues its endeavours to entrench its occupation of the Syrian Golan, prolonging it through the confiscation of more Syrian properties and lands and the stealing of natural resources. It also continues to implement settlement projects and other illegitimate measures that aim to alter the legal and demographic nature of the Golan and void it of its Syrian identity. At the same time, the Israeli occupation authorities continue their incursion into Palestinian cities and towns, demolishing Palestinian homes, displacing Palestinians and confiscating their lands and uprooting their trees to build thousands of new settlement units.
The Syrian Arab Republic calls upon the Security Council to end its silence and urgently shoulder its responsibility to end the Israeli occupation of Arab lands and hold its authorities accountable for its violations and aggressive practices that escalate threats to regional and international peace and security. My delegation also calls upon the representatives of the Secretariat and the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to shoulder their obligations and not stand idly by before those Israeli practices, or cover them up in their reports and briefings.
The Syrian Arab Republic underlines once again that it upholds its right to restore the entire occupied Syrian Golan by all means, according to international law, since it is an eternal right that is not governed by statute of limitations. We also stress that all decisions and measures taken by Israel to annex the Golan or alter its legal or demographic nature or impose any laws, authorities or administrations upon it are null and void and have no legal impact, pursuant to international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, especially resolution 497 (1981). My country stresses the right to respond adequately to the repeated Israeli aggression, in line with international law and the United Nations Charter. We also stress that we will continue to mobilize all international efforts to condemn Israel and to expose its aggressive goals, especially as it washes its hands of the implementation of any requirements to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region.
The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates its commitment to support the Palestinian question and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We will stand by them in their legitimate struggle to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent State on its territory, with Jerusalem as its capital. We also stand in solidarity with respect to the right of return of the Palestine refugees, in line with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948.