10 November 2009
Statement by Mr. Amir Hossein Hosseini
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
on the agenda item 32: Report of the Special Committee to
Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(New York-10 November 2009)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to begin by expressing my delegation’s appreciation to the distinguished Chairman of the “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the occupied territories” for his useful statement and for presenting the report of the Special Committee contained in document A/64/339.
My delegation reiterates its firm position that in considering the Israeli regime’s practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, the highest priority should be accorded to the act of illegitimate, forceful and unlawful occupation of these territories. We reiterate that since the occupation of Palestine and other Arab territories is indeed the most flagrant violation of essential and inalienable human rights of these people, putting an end to more than six decade of occupation and provision of essential conditions for the Palestinian people to freely exercise their right to self-determination must be considered as the main concern in addressing their human rights situation.
According to the report of the Special Committee contained in the document A/64/339, the humanitarian and human rights situation in the occupied territories has been deteriorated since last year. As a result of its brutalities in Gaza, the international community and the world public opinion have univocally protested against the Israeli usurper regime. Many international organizations, especially the United Nations, have taken effective steps to consider the criminal acts committed by the Israeli military personnel and civilians during and after the military assault on Gaza.
My delegation supports the Non-Aligned Movement in urging that the grave violations of the Palestinians human rights need to be addressed for consideration and actions by all relevant United Nations organs. We also support the view that the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza Conflict, the Report of the UN Secretary General’s Board of Inquiry, and the adoption of the recent resolutions by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in this regard, should be considered as a first step in the right direction. The United Nations has to take decisive measures concerning the crimes of the occupying regime in Gaza, including those described in the Goldstone report. It is our firm belief that the recommendations contained in this report should be considered as a valid basis for the prosecution of the Israeli citizens, politicians and military commanders and personnel who were involved in the massacre of Gaza.
Based on the Special Committee’s report killing more than 1,200 Palestinians among them at least 319 innocent children and 111women, and injuring some 5,300 of Palestinians including 1,600 children and 830 women during one single military operation in Gaza; deploying excessive and disproportionate use of force in obvious defiance of international law; indiscriminate targeting of civilian objects, including with white phosphorus munitions with dangerous effects on lives and health of the civilian population and widespread destructive effects on civilian objects; destruction of over 3,000 private homes and inflicting damages to over 20,000 homes, hospitals, schools, universities, factories, businesses and mosques; and destruction of 250 schools and kindergartens are among the most serious crimes committed by the illegitimate occupying regime during its recent offensive on Gaza.
We also noted with deep concern that the deliberate attacks on several schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agencies for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); resort to the policy of collective punishment through closing the Gaza borders and crossings in contravention of all international humanitarian principles; imposing sever restrictions on imports to Gaza; continuation of the expansion of settlements in the West Bank; several incidents of settlers crimes and violence against the Palestinians and their properties; persistence of the detention of the Palestinians, including children, under the administrative detention regime and in incommunicado conditions for prolonged periods of time; and restricting the freedom of association, assembly and movement as well as the Palestinians’ right to adequate food and work only constitutes a small part of the inglorious record of the said regime’s crimes and human rights and humanitarian law violations during the recent months.
The crimes committed by the occupying regime during its heinous military offensive on Gaza are all clear indications that the nature and policies of this criminal regime have remained unchanged. Today, we must ask from ourselves that what is the difference between the massacres of Deir Yasin in 1948, Qibya in 1953, Kafr Qasim in 1956, Sabra and Shatila in 1982, Qana in 2006 and the recent bloodshed and blockade in Gaza? All these crimes clearly indicate that the aggressive characters of this regime remain the same and it is willfully persisting on its policy of blind repression and atrocity against the original legal owners of the occupied territories, namely the Palestinians.
The Islamic Republic of Iran while condemning the gross violation of human rights of the Palestinian people, believes that it is the international community who shoulders the responsibility to counter such illegal and inhuman practices which are clearly contrary to the International Law. We strongly believe that our emphasis has to be on practical steps to make human rights implementation and enforcement in the occupied territories a reality. No one can deny that what we face today is not a lack of standards and norms but a need for greater effort to implement them. It is incumbent upon the international community to take effective measures to counter these violations and to bring the criminals to justice.
My delegation would like to reiterate the necessity of access to first hand information about the situation in the occupied territories. While commending the Special Committee for its useful missions to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, it is regretful to note that the Special Committee, once again, as the result of obstructive policies of the Israeli regime has not been able to gain access to the occupied territories. This policy clearly runs counter to the merit of all relevant international instruments as well as those resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council concerning the situation of civilians in the occupied territories.
We stress on the vital importance of the exercising of the right to Self-determination by the Palestinians and other people in the occupied territories and strongly support the Special Committee’s conclusion that the ongoing policy of fragmentation of the occupied territories, the continuing unlawful construction of the separation wall and the illegitimate increase of settlements continues to dramatically affect the territorial contiguity and social fabric of the Palestinian people. We consider this as a real threat to the existence and survival of the Palestinian nation and a gross violation of international law.
We considers the Golan as an integral part of the Syrian Arab Republic’s territory. We condemn all measures taken by the illegitimate occupying power to undermine the territorial integrity of Syria and express our deep concern over the grave deterioration of the human rights situation and increase in the number of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan.
My delegation in response to the call of the world conscience echoed by many international forums and groupings including, inter alia, this august body, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of the Islamic Conference and the UN human rights system, shares the sufferings of the Palestinians and other people of the occupied territories and supports them in their struggle for survival and against occupation. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that all Palestinians who have a legitimate stake in the territory of Palestine, including Muslims, Christians and Jews, and especially among them the Palestinian refugees who have borne for years the ordeals of exile, have to freely decide on their own future in a general referendum. We believe that a durable peace in Palestine will be possible only through the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Before concluding Mr. Chairman, in response to the reference made to my country in the course of today’s meeting by the Representative of the Israeli regime, I would like to mention that what he did today was yet another tired and futile practice to divert the Committee’s attention from his regime’s criminal acts and aggressive policies against the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian and other people in our region. We strongly stress that a regime marked with aggression, occupation, assassination, state terrorism, torture, kidnapping, and practically all kinds of criminal policies and abhorrent atrocities, cannot and should not portray itself as an advocate and warrior of human rights and democracy.
I would like to assure him that everyone in this forum is very much familiar with this useless method. I advise him that instead of resorting to these smoke screening tactics, simply listen attentively to the current live debate on the gross violation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian and other people of the occupied territories by the Israeli regime. By doing so, he would certainly recognize the root cause of tension and conflict in our region and will get to know the main source of the instability, insecurity and confrontation in the Middle East region for more than six decade.
Deliberations of many International forums including current general debate of the Fourth Committee on the issue of Palestine and other territories occupied by the Israeli regime clearly indicate that this regime has continuously and purposely violated many international laws and norms, let alone dozens of UN resolutions about which its response has been nothing but complete defiance.
There are rarely any human rights principles that are not systematically violated by the Israeli regime. Various UN resolutions and numerous reports of the United Nations, including those introduced to the Fourth Committee in recent days, attest to the bitter fact that this regime has no respect for the basic values of the civilized world nor it respects the fundamental human rights principles on which the world community functions. As the latest development in this regard, I wish to refer to the Goldstone Report. This report has authenticated and confirmed serious violations of international humanitarian law as well as gross violations of human rights during the military aggression on Gaza by the occupying regime. Most importantly the Report confirms that war crimes and crime against humanity have indeed been committed by this occupying regime.
Having said that, my delegation firmly believes that the representative of such an entity, which is the prime source of threat, terror and intimidation in our region and the whole world, is not in a position to level such fabricated and baseless allegations against other countries. We call on the international community to acknowledge the detrimental effects of the dangerous policies and activities of this regime and take decisive measures to prevent further violations of human rights and humanitarian law by this regime in the occupied territories.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate my Government’s unwavering and continuing support for the Palestinian people in their rightful and legitimate struggle against the occupation and for their just quest for full exercise of their human rights, in particular their right to self-determination.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.