About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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Adoption of the agenda
Update on developments since the previous meeting of the Committee
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and developments in the political process
Consideration of draft resolutions on the question of Palestine
United Nations International Meeting of Parliamentarians in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 21 November 2014
International Conference of Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations in Support of Palestinian Rights, Seville, 1 to 3 December 2014
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
1. The agenda was adopted.
2. The Chair said that the Committee strongly condemned all violence against civilians, whether they were Palestinians or Israelis, and against religious sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Especially worrisome was the recent violence in Jerusalem, which threatened to turn the conflict into a religious war linked to ethnic and religious violence elsewhere in the Middle East.
3. Since its previous meeting, the Committee had organized a lecture by the linguist, philosopher and author Noam Chomsky, on the prospects for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on 4 October 2014.
4. On 21 October 2014, the Security Council had held a debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
5. On 29 October 2014, the Security Council had held an emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
6. On 30 October 2014, the Chair had met with Mr. Makarim Wibisono, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, and to discuss in detail his briefing to the General Assembly. Mr. Wibisono had also met with the staff members of the Division for Palestinian Rights.
7. On 7 November 2014, the Bureau of the Committee had issued a statement to express its alarm over recent developments and increased tensions in the occupied city of East Jerusalem.
8. On 10 November 2014, the Committee, in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine, had organized a fashion show featuring the work of Palestinian designer Jamal Taslaq, as part of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
9. Mr. Mansour (Observer for the State of Palestine) said that President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine had condemned the killing of civilians from either party, especially in houses of worship. There was no justification for harming people who were merely practising their religion. The situation in Jerusalem was explosive, but recent events should not be viewed in isolation. They were rooted in attempts to introduce a religious dimension to the conflict. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, had reached new heights of brutality during the 51-day aggression against the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014. Extremists in the Israeli Knesset had been calling for a permanent Jewish presence on Haram al-Sharif and in the Al-Aqsa mosque. Meanwhile, extremist settlers and radical members of the Israeli Government were seeking to provoke a religious confrontation by torching churches and mosques, thus putting maximum pressure on the Palestinian people and contributing to the cycle of violence.
10. The State of Palestine was committed to defusing the situation and preventing it from degenerating into a religious confrontation. It accepted the call for restraint — which all parties should heed — but daily announcements of new settlements to please the extremists were adding fuel to the fire. Israel must therefore stop its illegal settlement activities. The State of Palestine would cooperate with the United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry established by the Secretary-General to investigate a number of specific incidents in which death or injuries had occurred at, and/or damage was done to, United Nations premises. Criminals on the Israeli side should be investigated and there should be no impunity or lack of accountability.
11. The Security Council should use the tools available to it to ensure Israeli compliance with the requirement of a two-State solution by establishing a time frame for ending the occupation. Indeed, the Palestinian people should be given hope that the occupation would end. A draft resolution setting out that time frame would shortly be sent to the Secretariat and debated in the Security Council. The signs of support from many countries, especially in Europe, were encouraging. Israel must immediately lift the illegal and immoral blockade against 1.8 million civilians in the Gaza Strip. In particular, the international community should be seen to be doing something concrete to assist in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, which was proceeding very slowly.
12. The events organized within the framework of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People had been very well attended and had been an opportunity to showcase the talent of Palestinian artists, film-makers and fashion designers.
Draft resolution: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Draft resolution: Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat
Draft resolution: Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine
Draft resolution: Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat
13. The Chair, introducing the four draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 36, Question of Palestine, said that they had been updated from those adopted at the sixty-eighth session to reflect recent political and other developments. He drew the Committee's attention to some of the new provisions, relating to the Committee's efforts and activities in commemoration of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the requirement that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development should report to the General Assembly on the economic costs of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people (draft resolution on the Committee, paragraphs 4 bis and 7 bis); the request that the Secretary-General should continue to provide the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat with the necessary resources to carry out its programme of work (draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights, paragraph 3); the request that the Department of Public Information should continue its initiatives which effectively contributed to an international atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of peace efforts (draft resolution on the Department of Public Information, paragraph 2); and the grave concern about the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the disastrous humanitarian situation and socioeconomic conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the conflict of July and August 2014 (draft resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, 15th and 38th preambular paragraphs).
14. All four texts had been the subject of extensive informal consultations by the delegation of Palestine with various regional groups, and had been approved by the Bureau. He took it that the Committee wished to approve the four draft resolutions.
15. It was so decided.
United Nations International Meeting of Parliamentarians in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 21 November 2014 (Working Paper No. 8)
16. The Chair, introducing the provisional agenda for the Meeting, said that parliamentarians and their umbrella organizations, the Secretary-General and other high-level United Nations officials, United Nations Member States and observers, other intergovernmental organizations, relevant United Nations system entities, academics, civil society representatives and the media had all been invited to the Meeting. He took it that the Committee wished to approve the provisional agenda for the Meeting.
17. It was so decided.
International Conference of Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations in Support of Palestinian Rights, Seville, 1 to 3 December 2014 (Working Paper No. 9)
18. The Chair said that the Conference was intended to catalyse action by civil society and local governments to promote accountability for violations of human rights and international law in connection with Palestine. It would be co-sponsored by the Committee pursuant to its mandate to promote cooperation with civil society and contribute to the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. He took it that the Committee wished to approve the provisional agenda for the Conference.
19. It was so decided.
20. The Chair said that the United Nations International Meeting of Parliamentarians in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace would be held in conjunction with the annual visit of parliamentarians to United Nations Headquarters and that the special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People would be held on 24 November 2014, and requested delegations to be represented at the ambassadorial level. Messages of solidarity from Heads of State or Government would be posted on the Committee's website. Lastly, on 24 November 2014, the Committee would present an exhibition in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine, to be followed by a concert by the Joubran Trio.
The meeting rose at 3.55 p.m.