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36. On the issue of both parties having a positive role to play in a lasting peace, Canada had long been concerned by the sheer number of United Nations resolutions critical solely of Israel. No other conflict in the world had absorbed so much time and energy on the part of Member States, even though there were many other longstanding conflicts. The draft resolutions before the Committee did not address the complexities of the issues or the actions and responsibilities of all parties concerned. As a package, they were one-sided and unbalanced, made no reference to terrorist activities carried out by Hamas and others against Israel, and were thus ultimately unhelpful to the cause of a lasting negotiated peace. There were important elements in the draft resolutions that needed to be discussed, but they were drowned out by their unbalanced nature.
37. Mr. Sahraei (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/67/L.14-L.18 to show its solidarity with the Palestinian people and stress the importance of international recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves from foreign occupation and aggression. Owing to lack of attention to the root causes of the Palestinian crisis, it had remained unresolved for more than six decades, and the illegal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories by the Israeli regime had continued, as had the persistent violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homeland. His delegation believed that lasting peace could be achieved only through an end to discrimination and to the occupation of all Palestinian territories, the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
38. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine) thanked all the delegations that had voted in favour of the draft resolutions introduced under agenda items 52 and 53. They had reaffirmed the human rights of the Palestinian people, including the Palestine refugees, and the core principles of international law in the exercise of multilateral diplomacy. They had not scored cheap political points, as the representative of Israel had claimed.
39. Palestine was grateful for the international community’s commitment to UNRWA and, in particular, for the significant support of host nations and the donor community pending a just solution to the plight of Palestine refugees, on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
40. The draft resolutions reaffirmed that the right of the Palestine refugees to return had not diminished over time and that the rule of law and international humanitarian law — and not the laws of brutality and power — should prevail. While reaffirming the Palestinian people’s rights, the adoption of the draft resolutions constituted a clear rejection of Israel’s human rights violations, including in the Gaza Strip, where another devastating Israeli onslaught was feared. Her delegation condemned all acts of violence against civilians and stressed the need to protect them in armed conflict. A clear message had been sent to Israel that its violations of international law would not be tolerated.
41, Those who truly supported the cause of peace must remain consistent in their demand for full compliance by Israel, the occupying Power, with all its obligations under international law. Rather than depriving the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and denying Palestine its freedom as an independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital, Israel must be held accountable to the Charter of the United Nations and the rule of international law.
42. Mr. Hamed (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the support for the draft resolutions adopted under agenda items 52 and 53 reflected the international community’s rejection of human rights violations and of occupation by force. The draft resolutions sent a clear message to Israel to end its occupation of all the occupied Arab territories and to cease its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In particular, the adoption by an overwhelming majority of Member States of the resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan (A/C.4/67/L.18) confirmed that Israel’s attempts to annex the occupied Syrian Golan, impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration, build and expand settlements and pursue racist practices against the Syrian people of the Golan, in violation of international law, were null and void and without international legal effect. Those measures recalled the darkest days of modern history when, at the beginning of the Second World War in Europe, a particular State had attacked and annexed parts of other countries.
43. The Israeli delegation had voted against the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan and all the other draft resolutions just adopted. In so doing, it had unequivocally departed from the international consensus, in defiance of the United Nations and international law. He called on those few delegations that had abstained from voting on the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan to join the international consensus and vote in favour when it went before the plenary Assembly. Any failure to condemn the Israeli occupation and annexation would send the wrong message to those who broke the law, suggesting that the law of the jungle had taken the place of international law and that law-breakers enjoyed impunity. He invited delegations that had voted against any of the draft resolutions to put themselves in the position of the Arab civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan for just one day in order to understand their terrible suffering.