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Miss Al-Thani (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic): ...
Foreign occupation is one of the main threats to the protection of civilians. People under occupation suffer from a variety of challenges that exacerbate their situation. Given the inhuman embargo and practices routinely carried out in the Gaza Strip, we call for every possible measure necessary to protect the civilian population of Palestine from the aggression of Israel, the occupying Power.
The President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to the representative of Turkey.
Mr. Müftüoğlu (Turkey): ...
While Libya has justifiably been given a lot of attention over the past several months, when the protection of civilians is being discussed we should not fail to recall the plight of the Palestinian people. Whether in Gaza or the West Bank, Palestinians continue to suffer under blockades and occupation, while their fundamental rights are denied. This sad state of affairs is not sustainable, and must be addressed within the context of a two-State solution as a matter of the utmost urgency. Let me also take this opportunity to underscore our determination to follow up the process of inquiry, until justice is done, into the Israeli attack on the humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza, which took place almost a year ago in international waters and resulted in nine civilian deaths and many wounded.
The President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Mr. Valero Briceño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) (spoke in Spanish): ...
The Security Council not infrequently acts selectively when deciding which civilians deserve protection, and it also implements sanctions regimes in a biased fashion so as to punish Governments of developing countries.
How is it that Israel has not been sanctioned for its massive violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people? Why have the massacres of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan not been condemned?
The President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Mr. Ja’afari (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): On behalf of my country, I would like to thank the Security Council for the holding of this open debate to discuss the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
The entire international community understands that this very important subject cannot be dealt with selectively or subjected to one-sided interpretations. We therefore believe that the protection of Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese civilians suffering under Israeli occupation is part and parcel of this much-appreciated international effort in the context of the impartial and exact implementation of the mandate to protect civilians in armed conflicts. I say this in particular because the Security Council has long been involved in debating this important matter, while Israel, rightly and legally referred to as the occupying Power, has all the while continued its gross violations against civilian populations in occupied Arab territories.
The crimes committed by Israel over several decades in the occupied Arab territories, its violations of the most basic principles of international humanitarian law and the impunity it enjoys not only prove the violations of law by the Israeli occupation and its political and military leadership; they are also evidence of how certain countries in the Security Council have condoned and tolerated those violations and have been reluctant to end them.
Israel continues to refuse to return the occupied Syrian Golan to its motherland and to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy, especially resolution 497 (1981), which was adopted by consensus by the Council and resolved that Israel’s annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without legal effect. We really do not know how long we can continue to turn a blind eye to Israel’s occupation of Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem, and to Israel’s inhuman acts against civilians in the armed conflict that, in United Nations terminology, is known as the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine.
We wonder why we fail to see, with regard to Israeli aggression, the same enthusiasm exhibited today by certain representatives in expressing the great importance they attach to the protection of civilians in certain parts of the world where the agenda item “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” does not apply. These representatives have gone to great lengths to express their concern for civilians in the Chamber of the Security Council, whose mandate is the maintenance of international peace and security, in order to endorse a flawed reading and interpretation of the concept of the protection of civilians in armed conflict in order to justify their flagrant intervention in the internal affairs of Member States.