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Summary record of the 40th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 7 November 2006, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Al Bayati ....................................................................................... (Iraq)
Agenda item 66: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)*
Agenda item 66: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued ) (A/61/333 and 341)
36. Ms. Abdelhak (Algeria) ...
40. In occupied Palestine, meanwhile, the Palestinian people continued to be denied the right to self-determination and their legitimate aspirations to build their own State on their land. A just and final settlement in Palestine and Western Sahara, with respect for the rights of their peoples, would boost the international community’s efforts to establish the rule of national and international law.
41. Mr. Dukali (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) ...
43. His Government advocated the right of people to self-determination. It noted with grave concern the suffering of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and the acts of coercion and discrimination against them. It was also concerned about the ongoing destruction of their houses, deportations, uprooting of fruit trees and construction of the separation wall, despite the objections of the international community and in violation of United Nations resolutions and the right of Palestinians to establish an independent and sovereign State.
44. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that for nearly four decades the Palestinian people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, had been deprived of the right to self-determination by Israel, the occupying Power, in the most brutal manner. Self-determination and foreign occupation were fundamentally opposed to each other. The Israeli occupation had resulted in the systematic violation of a range of individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to liberty and security of person, the right to freedom of movement, the right to control their own natural resources and many others. The violations involved illegal settlements, closures, checkpoints, home demolitions, land confiscation, the destruction of crops and wanton killings by illegal settlers and the occupying forces.
45. Israel had used tanks, aircraft and sonic booms to terrorize the Palestinian civilian population. The full force of its lethal arsenal had resulted in the death of more than 4,300 Palestinians, including 850 children, and at least 50,000 injuries, many of which were permanent.
46. Israel’s expansionist wall and confiscation of Palestinian land also infringed on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, in violation of international law and the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004. The illegal settlements and the wall were seriously undermining the territorial integrity and contiguity of the Palestinian territory and thus making the vision of a two-State solution, and the Palestinian people’s true enjoyment of their right to self-determination, nearly impossible.
47. The Palestinian people would never succumb to the occupation or be forced by military means to relinquish their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence. The enjoyment by the Palestinian people of the right to self-determination and independence was essential for the achievement of a comprehensive, permanent and lasting peace in the Middle East. Her delegation would be submitting a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. She trusted that Member States would send a strong message of solidarity with the Palestinian people by adopting the resolution by consensus.
48. Mr. Sinha (India) ...
50. India had played a leading role in the struggle for decolonization and was at the forefront of the movement to secure the right of peoples to self-determination. In the case of Palestine, that task remained unfinished. India had maintained its unwavering support for and solidarity with the people of Palestine to that end. India had joined in voicing its concern over the endless cycle of violence which had characterized that conflict. It was critical for the international community, in particular the Quartet, to work closely with the parties so that the peoples of Palestine and Israel might live in peace, side by side, within recognized and secure borders, thus realizing the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The legitimate freedom struggle of the Palestinian people must not be undermined by equating terrorist activities with that struggle.
66. Ms. Halabi (Syrian Arab Republic) ...
67. Foreign occupation and the repression of peoples should never be accepted or tolerated, as the right to self-determination was fundamental. Her Government made tireless efforts to support the struggle of peoples under occupation and colonial rule so that they might exercise their right to self-determination. It noted with regret that, despite the many resolutions concerning Palestine adopted by various bodies, they had failed to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the right to self-determination. Palestinian refugees had remained hopeful for some 50 years that they would return to their homeland, from which they had been cast out by the Israeli occupying Power through armed force, State terrorism and bloody massacres, in violation of international law.
69. Mr. Petranto (Indonesia) ...
72. The long suffering of the Palestinian people, in no small measure attributable to racism, must be brought to an end. Indonesia — whose right of self-determination had for more than 300 years been in the hands of foreigners — stressed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the creation of an independent Palestinian State.
80. Ms. Simovich (Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that Israel supported the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, but not at the expense of the safety and security of Israel and its people. Palestine was being led by the terrorist organization of Hamas, whose refusal to accept the three basic conditions outlined by the Quartet and adopted by the international community was proof that it was not interested in living side by side with Israel. Furthermore, Hamas leaders had stated that their party did not recognize the State of Israel or its right to hold on to any part of Palestine, and that blood and machine guns were its language.
81. Israel had long recognized the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, as in the Camp David Accords and other agreements that respected aspirations for an end to the conflict and implementation of those rights. However, the Palestinians had not followed through with a dialogue for peace: by electing Hamas to power, they had instead chosen a war of terror and were impeding their own self-determination.
82. The security fence had been set up to protect the Israeli population, as part of Israel’s moral responsibility and right to protect its citizens. Israel was acting in self-defence against the ongoing terrorist attacks from Gaza, carried out by launching Qassam rockets on Israeli communities.
83. Delegations which had expressed their support to Palestinians should exercise their influence to convince the Palestinian leadership to recognize the State of Israel and abandon terrorism. She hoped the Palestinian people would bring forth a leadership that recognized its responsibility to Palestine and its neighbours, which would lead to self-determination, without destruction of others.
87. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that Israel’s claims of being a democracy were contradictory, since its Basic Law referred to Israel as a Jewish and democratic State, thus placing the interests of Jewish citizens above non-Jewish citizens. That had created the basis for a pervasive system of legal and social discrimination against the Israeli Arabs of Palestinian origin living in Israel. Israel was in no position to lecture others on the upholding of human rights, as it negated the Palestinian people’s right to exist.
88. Racism was becoming more explicit in all spheres of the Israeli public arena, including by high-ranking governmental officials, army generals and even religious leaders. Some had openly called for the annihilation of Palestinians and the transfer of Palestinian people from their lands, which was equivalent to ethnic cleansing. The leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu political party had recently called for stripping a considerable number of Palestinians of their citizenship and consigning them to the Palestinian ghettoes being created inside the West Bank, and stated that any remaining Arab citizens should sign a loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, or risk being expelled from Israel.
89. Also blatantly undemocratic was the Israeli military occupation of over 3 million Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; Israel had been openly maintaining two communities in separate residential areas in that territory with different sets of laws and rights and even separate road networks. None of that could be justified as a response to suicide bombings which had occurred after 27 years of Israeli military occupation that had killed and maimed Palestinians and robbed them of their most basic rights and their hope. It was Israel’s practices and policies against the Palestinian people — and especially its denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination — that had created the current predicament.
90. The security justifications Israel cited had led to the killing of more than 4,300 Palestinians, and thousands more had been maimed, arrested, detained — with many cases of torture and abuse — or left homeless. Those justifications, which physically and psychologically destroyed the lives of Palestinians, could not be allowed to continue.
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.