8 November 2011
Statement by Mr. MohammadReza Sahraei
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
before the Special Political and decolonization Committee
on the agenda item 53:
“Report of the Special committee to Investigate Israel Practices
Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People
and other Arab of the Occupied Territories”
(New York- 8 November 2011)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At outset I would like to thank 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.
For more than six decades millions of Palestinians have lived under a humiliating and oppressive Israeli military occupation that deprives them of basic human rights, civil rights, and sovereignty in their lands. Besides the theft of land, resources and culture associated with the settlements and the ongoing separation wall, there are the continuing shocking human rights abuses. These include, but are not limited to: firing upon unarmed demonstrators, sniping at children, innumerable raids of Palestinian homes conducted with grave and undue force, confiscation of Palestinian lands, crippling restrictions on freedom of movement, illegal collective punishment involving the bulldozing and destruction of family homes, gardens, orchards and community structures, the incarceration of family members as ransom for wanted persons, the undiscriminating roundup and detainment of thousands of Palestinians, held without charge in harsh conditions, and the documented criminal torture, abuse and murder of detainees.
We are of the view that the prolonged Middle East conflict, suffering and hardship are the direct result of Israeli regime’s continuing flagrant violation of international law, disregarding all relevant UN resolutions, and denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, in persistent defiance of the international community. In this regard, international community, including United Nations should uphold its political, moral and legal responsibilities to bring an end to Israel’s occupations and all of its violations against the Palestinian people.
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. The illegal Israeli blockade remains in force, still affecting the life of the entire Palestinian civilian population there, preventing humanitarian aid and basic materials from reaching them, impeding reconstruction of the thousands of destructed homes and infrastructure, and obstructing economic and social recovery.
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.
At the same time, by approving the construction of more settlement unites in the occupied Jerusalem, Israeli regime has continued to intensify its illegal and destructive settlement campaign. The spate of settlement activities has reached an unprecedented level recently in a clear attempt to further colonize the occupied Palestinian Territory and to create even more illegal alterations to the demographic composition, characteristic and status of the Territory. 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.
The tragedy of Palestine, as a major source of anger and desperation that is felt throughout the Muslim world, lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. We along with the major part of the international community including Non-Aligned Movement Member States, have been proponents of a fair and just policy regarding Palestine based on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to defy illegitimate occupying power. The Zionist regime’s criminal acts against the Palestinians and other peoples in the region are the gravest threat currently posed to regional as well as international peace and security. Peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved through promotion of a discriminatory policy of blindfold support for the Israeli regime’s state terrorism, occupation, torture, annihilation, intimidation and aggression. It is evident that durable peace in Palestine and the Middle East will only be possible through justice, end to discrimination, end to occupation of Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and creation of a democratic mechanism through which all inhabitants of Palestine, as well as Palestinians driven out of their homeland would have the possibility to determine their future in a democratic and peaceful fashion. 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, Madam Chair, 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 exercise of their right of self-determination.
Thank you Madam Chair.