9 November 2012
Statement by H.E. Mr. Eshagh Al Habib
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran
On behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement
Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
on 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, 9 November 2012
I have the pleasure to address the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement on this important Agenda Item. I would like to start by commending the valuable activities by the Chair and Members of the “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices violating the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arab peoples of the Occupied Territories” and to express NAM’s appreciation for the comprehensive report presented to the General Assembly.
According to the latest report of the Special Committee, the systematic violations of human rights of the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples of the Occupied Territories, during the current period, have continued and in many ways intensified. The Non-Aligned Movement is seriously concerned about the finding of the report, especially regarding the “the mass imprisonment of Palestinians and administrative detention, routine demolition of homes and resultant displacement of Palestinians, intensification of illegal Israel’s settlement activities, blockade on Gaza, widespread violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, and lack of effort to prevent or hold settlers accountable for such violence”. In this respect, NAM calls for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Special Committee in order to ensure the applicability and respect of international human rights and international humanitarian law by Israel, the occupying Power, and to end its impunity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and all other Arab Territories it continues to occupy since 1967.
Indeed, the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to witness a severe deterioration that is infringing on a wide scope of rights of the Palestinian people, including, inter alia, their rights to self determination, to freedom of movement, to education, to property, to healthcare, to development, to worship and even to life. The Non-Aligned Movement is extremely concerned about the illegal Israeli practices aimed at the displacement or transfer of the Palestinian civilian population from strategic areas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which include the continuing aggressive settlement campaign, the construction of the wall, forced evictions, home demolitions, and the revocation of Palestinian residency rights, all measures that are particularly severe in Occupied East Jerusalem, and call for the immediate cessation of all these unlawful acts.
It is disturbing that Israel, the occupying Power, continues to pursue such illegal practices with blatant impunity despite the prohibitions of such actions under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, relevant United Nations resolutions, and the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion. The impact of these illegal measures on the Palestinian civilian population, including women and children and the most vulnerable such as the Palestine refugee population, must be seriously considered and measures be taken in accordance with international law to remedy this unjust situation.
NAM condemns Israel’s continuing unlawful campaign of arrest, detention, and forced interrogation of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, women and numerous elected officials, who continue to be held under harsh, inhumane conditions and to be subjected to physical and mental ill-treatment. In this regard, Israel’s use of torture and all other forms of physical and psychological mistreatment and deprivation of Palestinian prisoners, including denial of family visits, denial of access to education and adequate medical care, use of administrative detention and the inhumane use of solitary confinement remain a source of grave concern.
It is the conviction of the Movement, as stated in the Declaration on Palestine Political Prisoners, adopted by the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, in Tehran, in August 2012, that the Palestinian prisoners should be immediately released and the plight of these prisoners should be addressed by the international community, particularly the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.
While expressing alarm about the intensification of Israel’s settlement activities, the Non-Aligned Movement stresses that a full cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is in compliance with international humanitarian law and is necessary for fostering an environment conducive for salvaging the two-State solution based on the 1967 borders. NAM calls for urgent action and practical measures by the international community, in particular by the Security Council to compel the occupying Power to cease completely its illegal and destructive settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to abide by all of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions, the Advisory Opinion and its obligations under the Road Map in this regard.
Based on the latest report of the Special Committee, the blockade of Gaza continues to have a devastating impact on the people of Gaza Stripe. In this connection, the Movement reiterates its condemnation of Israel’s inhumane, unlawful closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip and considers it as collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population there, particularly by the continued obstruction of the freedom of movement of persons and goods and obstruction of the reconstruction and recovery of the Gaza Strip. NAM underlines that, in addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law, such collective punishment measures by Israel are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law, by which it is bound as the occupying Power and with which it must scrupulously comply. In this regard, we call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to promptly and unconditionally end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and open all its crossing points with the Strip in accordance with international humanitarian law and all UN resolutions, including relevant Security Council resolutions.
Turning to the Syrian Golan, the Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms once again that all unlawful actions by Israel, the occupying Power, since 1967, constitute a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and relevant resolutions, including Security Council resolution 497 (1981), and the Fourth Geneva Convention. NAM demands that Israel abides by resolution 497 and withdraw completely from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.
The Movement stresses that serious and genuine peace negotiations cannot be conducted while Israel, the occupying Power, persists in carrying out its illegal actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and other occupied Arab Territories that continue to violate the human rights of the civilian populations under occupation and continue to exacerbate the conflict. We reiterate our demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cease completely all these violations and act in good faith and in accordance with its legal obligations to promote an environment conducive for peace. This must include refraining from provocation and all actions aiming at altering the demographic composition and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly East Jerusalem, and prejudging the outcome of the final status negotiations. this also requires Israel to constructively cooperate with efforts to push ahead the negotiations path for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the conflict in the Middle East based on the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, freedom and independence.
The international community must act to prevent a total collapse of the peace process after so many years of efforts and support for this process on the basis of a clear foundation rooted in international law, UN resolutions and the international consensus on the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders. Now more than ever, NAM stresses the need for the international community to remain united in its demand that Israel must respect its legal obligations as an occupying Power and cease forthwith all its violations. There is unanimous conviction that such respect is imperative for achieving the two-State solution through a mutually agreed solution based on the agreed principles and terms of reference, namely Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 425, 1397, 1515 and 1850, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map.
In conclusion, the Movement reaffirms its unwavering commitment to a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab Israeli conflict, with the question of Palestine at its core, and to the immediate restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to exercise its self-determination and sovereignty in its independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman