8 November 2013
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee 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, 8 November 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I have the honour to address the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement on this important Agenda Item. I commend the valuable efforts of the Chair and Members of the “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices violating the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” and express NAM’s appreciation for the comprehensive report presented to the General Assembly.
According to the latest report of the Special Committee, Israel’s policies and practices continue to violate fundamental human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and other Arabs living under its occupation. The Non-Aligned Movement is seriously concerned about the disturbing findings of the report, especially regarding the “situation of Palestinian prisoners and detainees including women and children in Israeli prisons, home demolitions and 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 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 OccupiedPalestinianTerritory, including East Jerusalem, and all other ArabTerritories it continues to occupy since 1967.
The Non-Aligned Movement condemns the continuing brutal Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by which the occupying Power has continued to commit grave human rights violations and reported war crimes, including by use of excessive force that over the years has killed and injured thousands of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, and has caused vast destruction of properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. 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 injustice.
As reflected in the report of the Special Committee, an estimated 5,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees continued to be held in 22 detention centers and prisons in Israel and the OccupiedPalestinianTerritory. NAM strongly condemns the ongoing systematic and abusive detention and interrogation by Israeli authorities of Palestinian prisoners including children and numerous elected officials, who continue to be held under inhumane conditions and to be subjected to all forms of 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 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 and detainees should be immediately released and their plight should be addressed by the international community, particularly the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.
Israel’s illegal settlement construction under the full protection of its military forces is proceeding apace across the West Bank, facilitated by a combination of other illegal measures, including land confiscations, the construction of the Wall, home demolitions, denial of building permits, enclosure of Palestinian communities and the myriad access restrictions imposed by checkpoints, obstacles to movement and so-called agricultural gates. These illegal activities all serve to undermine the contiguity of the West Bank and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. In this regard, 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.
Based on the report of the Special Committee, during the offensive carried out from 14 to 21 November 2012, 168 Palestinians, including 33 children and 13 women, were reportedly killed by Israeli military action. Meanwhile, the sea, air and land blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel, the occupying Power, entered its seventh year in June 2013. in this connection, the Movement reiterates its condemnation of Israel’s inhumane, unlawful policies and practices and collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza. NAM underlines that, in addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law, such punitive measures by Israel constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, by which it is bound as the occupying Power and with which it must scrupulously comply.
NAM calls upon Israel, the Occupying Power, to promptly and unconditionally end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and open all its crossing points 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.
NAM expresses deep its concern at the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process, and stresses that the current dangerous impasse is the result of impunity and intransigence by Israel, the occupying Power, which continues to obstruct the achievement of a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. Such persistent illegal behavior and refusal to commit to the internationally endorsed parameters for the two-State solution confirms once again that Israel’s expansionist policies totally contradicts its Government’s claimed commitment to peace process.
We stress the need for intensified international and regional efforts to promote a substantial and accelerated negotiations between the parties on all tracks of the peace process for the achievement of a comprehensive, just, lasting and peaceful settlement, based on the relevant UN resolutions and in accordance with the rules and principles of international law enshrined therein. The international community must act to prevent a total collapse of the prospects for peace after so many years of efforts and support for a peaceful solution.
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, and a just solution for the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
Thank you, Mr. Chairman