8 November 2010
Statement by Mr. MohammadReza Sahraei
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
on the agenda item 52: “Report of the Special committee to Investigate Israeli Practices
Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”
(New York- 8 November 2010)
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/65/327.
For decades, the Israeli regime’s war machine has continued its killing of Palestinian civilians, children, women, and elderly people. Throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, the entire Palestinian people is facing tremendous hardship and is living in a violent environment where the Israel’s military occupation has left a devastating impact on all aspects of their lives in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli regime has embarked on destroying civilian infrastructures, houses, public facilities and buildings, schools, mosques, press offices and any other sign of a dynamic society. Such brutal actions as emphasized in several UN reports and resolutions are considered under international law as war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Israeli Regime’s constant and systematic disregard to all UN resolutions, the principal of international law, and the value and dignity of the Palestinian as human being in general have led to a situation where Palestinians are denied basic human rights and are humiliated on a daily basis.
Based on the recent report of the Committee, the humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip, exacerbated by the continued imposition by the Israeli regime of a sever blockade on the territory, is a source of special concern. The Israel Regime has continued to close all borders crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than 3 years. The illegal Israeli-imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the coastal sliver. More than 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are still suffering from the aftermath of the Israeli regimes aggression of December 2008-January 2009, the lack of food, medicine, electricity and other essential materials and services. They are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza Strip. While condemning the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza by land, sea and air, we believe that it is an aggressive and savage action that breaches all international laws and norms, constitutes a crime against humanity and poses a serious threat to international peace and security as well as to regional stability. The blockade also constitutes collective punishment that is unconditionally prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention dealing with the rights and obligations of belligerent obligation. In the same vein, Israeli regime’s criminal invasion of humanitarian aid convoy in free international waters is nothing but a terrorist move, state piracy and violation of all international and humanitarian laws.
Israeli regime continues its settlement activities, construction of the separation wall, demolition of houses, and confiscation of land in the Palestinian territories. The ongoing settlement campaign throughout the Occupied Territory is grave breach of the 4th Geneva Convention and additional Protocol I, in violation of UN resolutions and in total disrespect of the 2004 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion.
Israeli regime has taken a racist and expansionist measure in order to change the fabric and demography of the Holy Qods and its extensive, illegal and provocative excavations have exposed a constant threat to the historical and religious monuments of this city, particularly Al-Aqsa Mosque. These measures obviously make it clear that Israeli regime pays no respect for the divine faiths and religious sanctities.
In order to solve the question of Palestine, various plans and initiatives have already been presented and some of them also implemented, but due to ignorance of the legitimate cause and basic rights of the Palestinian people, all of them have been defeated. We believe that the fundamental problem of this longstanding crisis is not in the lack of peace plans which has come from time to time and one after another, but roots in the continuation of illegal occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories, and the Israeli regime’s intransigence to any single principle of international law. All these plans were doomed to failure because they all in one way or another failed to tackle the Palestinian problem from its root causes, including the occupation itself.
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 reiterate our position of principle that a permanent and durable settlement of the question of Palestine could only be achieved through the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, ending the illegal occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State based on the democratic choice of the people of Palestine. It is obvious that international community through the United Nations can play an effective and major part in furthering this idea for resolving the Palestinian question and bringing the Middle East crisis to an end.
Regarding the occupation of Golan by the Israeli regime, we consider 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.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate my Government’s unwavering and continued support for the Palestinian people in their rightful and legitimate struggle against the occupation and for their just quest for exercising their right of self-determination.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.