29 April 2014
Statement by H.E. Mr. Gholamhosein Dehghani
Ambassador and Chargé d’Affaires of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement before the Security Council
on Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”
29 April 2014 , New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). At the outset, I would like to convey the Movement’s appreciation to you, Madame President, for convening this open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, and for Nigeria’s skilled leadership of the Security Council this month. I also express appreciation to Mr. Robert Serry, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, for his briefing to the Council today.
Since our last debate on this matter, regrettably little progress has been made towards the long-overdue realization of a just and peaceful solution to the question of Palestine, which has been on the United Nations agenda for more than 66 years. Despite serious international efforts and repeated and constant calls for a peaceful and comprehensive solution in conformity with international law and relevant UN resolutions, the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands continues and the Palestinian people continue to be tragically denied their inalienable rights and freedom, and the peace process is once again at a dangerous impasse, with negotiations suspended due to Israel’s repeated rejectionist stance.
The failure to resolve this question and the continuation of this conflict, despite the clarity of international law, including the demands made by this Security Council, continue to undermine the credibility of our international system and undermine the rule of law and to compound the conflict and human suffering. In this year 2014, a year proclaimed by the General Assembly as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, the Non-Aligned Movement calls for the redoubling of international efforts to actively support and advance a peaceful, just and lasting solution, based on the longstanding parameters rooted in the relevant UN resolutions and initiatives.
In this connection, the NAM welcomes the affirmed readiness of the State of Palestine to uphold its international responsibilities and obligations in accordance with the multilateral treaties it has recently acceded to, stressing the importance of the respect for the rule of law in any effort to achieve peace and justice. NAM also welcomes the recent steps towards Palestinian reconciliation, stressing that unity is imperative for the realization of the Palestinian people’s legitimate national aspirations.
At this crucial stage, the NAM implores the Security Council to act forthwith to uphold its Charter duties for the maintenance of international peace and security and tangibly contribute to a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which remains a source of grave concern for the region and international community as a whole and for the prospects of global peace and stability. The Security Council cannot remain on the sidelines while the situation continues to deteriorate and the chances for a peace based on the two-State solution, in accordance with the pre-1967 borders, are being sabotaged by the intransigent refusal of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
In the recent period, our Movement has remained greatly concerned in specific about the illegal policies being pursued by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy sites and the negative impact on the ground and the peace negotiations. Despite the international efforts and calls for peace, Israel has continued to behave in a manner blatantly contradictory to the law and the clear objectives of the peace process. Every aggressive and provocative action taken on the ground by Israel in violation of international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people has undermined the goal of resolving the core issues – the Palestine refugee question, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security, water and prisoners – and finally achieving a peaceful settlement of the conflict in all aspects.
As a result, tensions have continued to rise and the gap between the hopes and expectations for the political process and the reality on the ground remains vast. An overview of just the recent period, including as reflected in official communications conveyed to the Security Council, reveal that, rather than negotiating in good faith and abiding by its legal obligations, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has in fact intensified all of its illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly its illegality settlement colonization campaign, which is destroying the contiguity of the Palestinian land and threatening the two-State solution.
Israel’s illegal actions have included the continuation and escalation of: settlement construction, construction of the wall, confiscation of land, demolition of homes, forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, military raids resulting in the killing and injury of civilians, the arrest and detention of Palestinians, including children, violence and terror by extremist Israeli settlers and religious fanatics, and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. These violations have worsened conditions on the ground, casting serious doubts regarding Israel’s intentions and claimed commitment to a just peace based on the two-State solution in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.
NAM is especially alarmed by the rising acts of aggression in Occupied East Jerusalem, especially in and around Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, resulting from provocations by Israeli extremists. The blatant disrespect for that holy site and its worshippers and the continued threats of further incursions are grave acts of incitement that are aggravating religious sensitivities and already high tensions. Israeli government officials continue to recklessly fuel such tensions by encouraging extremists to acts of provocation that threaten to ignite a religious conflict, which would have far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond. NAM thus once again draws the Security Council’s attention to these serious matters, which threaten international peace and security, and calls for actions to halt all Israeli incitement and provocations and calls for respect for the sanctity of religious sites and the rights and access of Muslim and Christian worshippers, including Palestinians, in the City.
NAM must also reiterate its grave concern at the continuation of the illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which continues to inflict severe humanitarian hardship on the Palestinian people. NAM condemns this collective punishment of the Palestinian people and urges the international community to persist with its calls on Israel, the occupying Power, to end this blockade and all illegal actions against the Palestinian people under its occupation, and to respect its obligations under international law. If Israel persists in its contempt for the law, the international community must act forthwith to uphold the law and ensure accountability.
The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms its longstanding solidarity with the Palestinian people and its support for the realization of their legitimate national aspirations and inalienable rights, including to self-determination and freedom in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a just solution for the plight of the Palestine refugees in accordance with resolution 194 (III). NAM reaffirms the role of the international community, foremost the Security Council, in responsibly acting to promotethe achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that will bring a complete end to the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab lands occupied in 1967 and usher in a new era of peace and stability in the Middle East - a role that is starkly highlighted in this period of yet another impasse in the peace negotiations.
Lebanon has suffered from consecutive Israeli attacks against its territory, with a heavy human and material toll, followed by subsequent years of occupation and aggression. Unfortunately, Israel still continues to violate Lebanese airspace, intensifying its incursions over Lebanon. Such activities are a blatant violation of Lebanese sovereignty and the relevant international resolutions, in particular resolution 1701 (2006). The provisions of that resolution should be implemented in a manner that guarantees the consolidation of the foundations of stability and security in Lebanon and prevents Israel from undertaking its daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty.
With regard to the occupied Syrian Golan, the Movement condemns all the measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan, which have intensified after the outbreak of Syrian crisis. The Non-Aligned Movement demands once again that Israel abide by resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
I thank you, Madame President.