11 November, 2013

Statement by Mr. MohammadReza Sahraei Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee

On the agenda item 52: “Report of the Special committee to

Investigate Israel Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and

other Arab of the Occupied Territories”

68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York- November 11, 2013

بسم الله

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

I wish to begin by thanking 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.

Mr. Chairman,

As the realities on the ground well indicate and as reported to the General Assembly by 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 appalling crimes of extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations have unabatedly been committed by the Israeli regime while other Israeli crimes such as: the destruction of homes and infrastructure as well as agricultural lands, illegal expansion of settlements, the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, construction of the expansionist Wall and the imposition of collective punishment on Gazan population, have also continued persistently.

Mr. Chairman,

The sea, air and land blockade of Gaza strip imposed by Israeli regime entered its seventh year in June 2013. As a result of the blockade, the humanitarian and economic situation there has deteriorated to a dangerous extent. In this connection, my delegation reiterates its condemnation of Israeli regime inhumane and 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. In addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law by Israeli regime, we underline that, such collective punishment measures by Israeli regime are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law, which constitute a crime against humanity and poses a serious threat to international peace and security as well as to regional stability. Furthermore, the blockade 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 units 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 PalestinianTerritory and to create even more illegal alterations to the demographic composition, characteristic and status of the Territory. The ongoing settlement campaign throughout the OccupiedTerritory is a grave breach of the 4th Geneva Convention and additional Protocol I, in violation of United Nations resolutions and in total disrespect of the 2004 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion.

Mr. Chairman,

The aforesaid examples of the persisted Israeli crimes and atrocities attest to the fact that this regime has based its policies and practices on occupation, aggression and bloodshed, and its mischievous calls and expression of readiness, for peace with the Palestinians are but an ill-intended smokescreen to pursue its wicked expansionist policies and criminal practices against the Palestinian and other Arabs under its brutal occupation and oppression. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes  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 principle of international law. All these plans were doomed to failure because they all have tackled the Palestine question without addressing its root causes, including the occupation itself and the issue of the Palestinian refugees.

We 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 have the right to freely decide on their own future in a general referendum. We reiterate our principled position that a permanent and durable settlement of the question of Palestine could be achieved only through the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, ending the illegal occupation and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State based on the democratic choice of the people of Palestine with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital. It is obvious that international community through the United Nations can play an effective role 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 SyrianArabRepublic’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.chaiman, 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 to self-determination.

Thank you Mr. Chairman 

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