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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXVIII, No.9 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (septembre 2005) - Publié par la Division des droits palestiniens Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
30 September 2005


September 2005

Volume XXVIII, Bulletin No. 9



Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine




Contents

Page
I.
    Gulf Cooperation Council issues press statement
1
II.
    Secretary-General pleased with Gaza withdrawal
2
III.
    World Summit commemorates sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations
2
IV.
    Quartet issues statement
4
V.
    Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace briefs Security Council
5
VI.
    Security Council President issues statement
7
VII.
    Organization of the Islamic Conference issues communiqué
8
VIII.
    Secretary-General alarmed by escalation of violence
11




The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf, or at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.






I. GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL ISSUES PRESS STATEMENT

The Gulf Cooperation Council held its ninety-sixth regular session of the Ministerial Council on 6 and 7 September 2005, at the end of which a press statement was issued. The statement was transmitted to the United Nations in a letter dated 17 September 2005 addressed to the Secretary-General from the Permanent Representative of Bahrain to the United Nations (A/60/388-S/2005/612). Excerpts of the press statement are reproduced below:

Press statement issued at the ninety-sixth regular session of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council 2 and 3 Sha`ban A.H. 1426 (6 and 7 September A.D. 2005)



The Ministerial Council held its ninety-sixth regular session on Tuesday and Wednesday, 2 and 3 Sha`ban A.H. 1426 (6 and 7 September A.D. 2005), in Jeddah, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of the current session of the Ministerial Council. Attending was His Excellency Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).



• The Ministerial Council hoped that the evacuation of the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip would be followed by steps towards total withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian lands so as to enable the Palestinian people to build an independent State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital;

• In that connection, the Council reaffirmed the commitment of the GCC countries to the peace initiative proposed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, at the Arab Summit held in Beirut in 2002, and adopted

by the Summit as the Arab peace initiative for the region. The initiative, which is based on the resolutions establishing international legitimacy, is considered the correct framework for achieving a just and comprehensive peace and resolving the Palestinian question;

• The Ministerial Council cautioned against the threats issued by extremist Jewish groups calling for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and emphasized that such threats could only inflame Muslim sensibilities, as they related to violations of their holy places;

• It emphasized further that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East would be achieved only with the establishment of an independent Palestinian State having Jerusalem as its capital and Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 and from all Arab lands in southern Lebanon;

• The Council appeals to the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the States of the European Union, the United Nations and the international community as a whole to continue their efforts to activate the road map and the Arab initiative in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East;

• It calls once again on the international community to take action to turn the Middle East into a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, including the Gulf region, and to induce Israel to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and subject all of its nuclear facilities to the international inspections regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a basis for any future security arrangements;




II. SECRETARY-GENERAL PLEASED WITH GAZA WITHDRAWAL

The following statement was issued on 12 September 2005 by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General (SG/SM/10086):

The Secretary-General is pleased that all Israeli military personnel and installations have been withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and praises the determination and political courage shown in this regard by Prime Minister Sharon. He congratulates the Palestinians and commends President Abbas who has played an important role in ensuring that the withdrawal was carried out in a peaceful and coordinated manner.

The Secretary-General hopes that the withdrawal, and the cooperation and coordination between Israelis and Palestinians which made it possible, can lead to the revitalization of the peace process in the framework of the Road Map. He is also looking forward to discussing the role that the Quartet can play when they meet next week.


III. WORLD SUMMIT COMMEMORATES SIXTIETH ANNIVERSSARY
OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Commemorating its sixtieth anniversary, the United Nations held the 2005 World Summit at its Headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 September 2005. During the Summit world leaders addressed the General Assembly, including Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon, who addressed the General Assembly on 15 September 2005. Excerpts of his statement are reproduced below (A/60/PV.5). On 16 September 2005 the Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nasser Al-Kidwa addressed the General Assembly. Excerpts of his statement are reproduced below (A/60/PV.7). At the conclusion of the summit on 16 September 2005, 150 Heads of State adopted a resolution containing the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit (A/RES/60/1), excerpts of which are reproduced below:

60/1. 2005 World Summit Outcome

The General Assembly

Adopts the following 2005 World Summit Outcome:

I. Values and principles

1. We, Heads of State and Government, have gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 September 2005.



5. We are determined to establish a just and lasting peace all over the world in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter. We rededicate ourselves to support all efforts to uphold the sovereign equality of all States, respect their territorial integrity and political independence, to refrain in our international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, to uphold resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the equal rights of all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and the fulfilment in good faith of the obligations assumed in accordance with the Charter.



Use of force under the Charter of the United Nations

77. We reiterate the obligation of all Member States to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the Charter. We reaffirm that the purposes and principles guiding the United Nations are, inter alia, to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace, and to that end we are determined to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations that might lead to a breach of the peace.





The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, addressed the World Summit on 15 September; the following is an excerpt of his statement:





The Palestinians will always be our neighbours. We respect them, and have no aspirations to rule over them. They are also entitled to freedom and to a national, sovereign existence in a State of their own.



The Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, Nasser Al-Kidwa, addressed the World Summit on 16 September (A/60/PV.7), delivering the statement of President Mahmoud Abbas, the excerpts of which are reproduced below:



Allow me to take this opportunity to affirm our conviction in Palestine of the need for a strong and reformed United Nations, including its Security Council, in order to confront the challenges of the twenty-first century. We also affirm the need for compliance with the purposes and principles of the Charter and international law, particularly with regard to the protection of human rights, freedom and dignity, so that the international community can address the challenges that face all of us, such as foreign occupation, international terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, poverty, hunger and epidemic diseases.

Finally, we affirm that we, particularly those of us in the Middle East, now stand at a crossroads. Either we achieve real and effective progress towards peace, stability, security, construction and coexistence, or we return to the vicious cycle, under the constant threat of violence and terrorism, far from the real and necessary solutions to the challenges that we face. I am confident that the Assembly will push for the first option.



IV. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT


On 20 September 2005, the representatives of the Quartet – United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jack Straw representing the European Union Presidency, European Union High Representative for a Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued the following statement after their meeting in New York (SG/SM/10115). The Secretary-General read out the statement on behalf of the Quartet:

The Quartet met today to discuss the Israeli withdrawal and the prospects for movement towards peace in the Middle East. The Quartet welcomed the successful conclusion of the withdrawal, and the opportunity it brings to renew efforts on the Road Map. The Quartet paid tribute to the political courage of Prime Minister Sharon, and expressed its appreciation for the responsible behaviour of the Palestinians. The withdrawal is an important step towards achieving the vision of two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

The Quartet applauded the close coordination between the Israeli and Palestinian security services and their cooperation with the United States Security Coordinator, General Ward. While noting that the Palestinian Authority has condemned violence, the Quartet further urges it to maintain law and order and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure, and reaffirms the continued importance of comprehensive security sector reform.

The Quartet encouraged the work of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet Special Envoy for disengagement, to facilitate discussion between the parties to build on the success so far. The Quartet will continue to lead international efforts to support the sustainable growth of the Palestinian economy and to help strengthen the capacity of the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities through an aggressive pursuit of State-building and democratic reform efforts. The Quartet urges an easing of the system of movement restrictions that prevent Palestinian economic recovery, consistent with Israel’s security needs.

Beyond disengagement, the Quartet calls for renewed action in parallel by both parties on their obligations under the Road Map. The Quartet urged both sides to return to the cooperative agenda reached at Sharm el-Sheikh. Contacts between the parties should be intensified at all levels.

The Quartet discussed armed groups and the political process. The Palestinian Authority leadership has condemned violence and has sought to encourage Palestinian groups who have engaged in terrorism to abandon this course and engage in the democratic process.

Ultimately, those who want to be part of the political process should not engage in armed group or militia activities, for there is a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic State.

The Quartet reaffirms that any agreement on final status issues must be reached through negotiations and that a new Palestinian State must be truly viable, with contiguity in the West Bank and connectivity to Gaza. The Quartet believes that settlement expansion elsewhere must stop, and Israel must remove unauthorized outposts. The Quartet continues to note with concern the route of the barrier, particularly as it results in the confiscation of Palestinian land, and undermines Palestinians’ trust in the Road Map.

The Quartet reiterates its commitment to the principles outlined in previous statements, including those of May 4, 2004, May 9, 2005, and June 23, 2005, and reaffirms its commitment to a just, comprehensive, and lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict based upon U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.


V. SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE
BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL

On 23 September 2005 Mr. Alvaro de Soto, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, briefed the Security Council on the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. The following are excerpts of the briefing (S/PV.5270):

In the early hours of 12 September, Israel withdrew the last of its military personnel and installations from the Gaza Strip, the first such withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory since 4 June 1967. Furthermore, as of 20 September, and following the completion of the evacuation of civilian army infrastructure from four settlements in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces put an end to their permanent presence in the area of the evacuated settlements.



The timing of Israel’s disengagement was not the result of an agreement with the Palestinian side, but of a unilateral Israeli decision. However, all relevant sectors of the Palestinian Authority worked diligently and constructively to coordinate with their Israeli counterparts, with the good offices and assistance of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet’s Special Envoy for Disengagement; General William Ward, the United States Security Coordinator; and other international actors, the Egyptian Government prominent among them. Early fears that the operation might have to be conducted under fire were dissipated. Palestinian armed groups by and large held back from violent action against settlers. The Israeli settlers, armed forces and police withdrew in peace. The habit of coordination developed among Palestinians and Israelis in the last few months is a valuable asset on which to continue building in the coming period.



I turn now to the question of closures and movement restrictions. In a June 2004 report entitled “Disengagement, the Palestinian Economy and the Settlements”, the World Bank stated that “Palestinian economic recovery depends on a radical easing of internal closures throughout the West Bank, the opening of Palestinian external borders to commodity trade, and sustaining a reasonable flow of Palestinian labour into Israel”.

In James Wolfensohn’s words, based on the Bank’s findings, “without the re-establishment of free movement inside the West Bank, a viable Palestinian economy is not possible”.

Since the beginning of 2005, there has been a 37 per cent reduction in the number of internal obstacles on roads in the West Bank, including checkpoints. These obstacles now number 376, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Much of the reduction has been in the northern West Bank, where movement has been freed up in line with disengagement from four northern West Bank settlements. Obstacles have also been removed in the western area of the West Bank, where the barrier is under construction, making many of those obstacles redundant.

The biggest impact of this easing is to improve Palestinian access to health and education services, particularly from villages to main towns. It is unlikely, however, that this will result in a significant improvement in the economic situation, as delays still occur as a result of random vehicle checking and restrictions on movement entering and exiting from main cities, especially Jerusalem.

Through a series of discussions, OCHA and the IDF have reached a common understanding on the number and location of checkpoints and other obstacles, albeit with minor differences in definition. Further dialogue with the Palestinian Authority and the Israel Defense Forces, with the aim of easing restrictions on Palestinian movement, combined with a more in-depth examination of the impact of physical obstacles, is being conducted by OCHA.



The withdrawal of Israeli soldiers resulted in the removal of internal movement restrictions imposed by Israel in the Gaza Strip. Tight restrictions continue on issuance of permits for Gaza Strip workers in Israel and the Erez industrial estate at the north of the Strip. On 1 September, Palestinian merchants from the West Bank were allowed to enter Israel for the first time since a general closure was imposed on 12 July 2005. Only a limited number of Palestinian workers with permits are allowed entry to Israel and East Jerusalem.


It is often overlooked that security, broadly writ, is not just an Israeli requirement. The Palestinian people at large demand that law and order be established in the streets, which means not only an efficient police but also a reliable court system and an end to impunity and to corruption. The Palestinian Authority is the underpinning for a still incipient State-to-be; the Palestinians understandably expect it to discharge the responsibilities which normally fall to the Government in a State. As members of the Quartet said on Tuesday, 20 September, at their press conference, the Palestinian Authority is in transition to democracy. It must be seen by the Palestinians that it is indeed pointed in that direction and moving toward it. The political will of the Palestinian Authority must be unequivocal.

Development of a State run by the rule of law, in which the Government holds the monopoly over the instruments of violence - clearly a Palestinian interest - goes hand in hand with the strengthening of Israel’s sense of security. A State at peace with itself generates security in its neighbours.

Let me conclude with this thought. It is unfortunately difficult to circumvent the classic chicken-and-egg conundrum: Israeli leaders demand an end to violence before addressing further Palestinian concerns; Palestinian leaders find it difficult, for their part, to persuade extremists to restrain themselves and accept to work toward a democracy if they are unable to point to a visible prospect of satisfaction of their legitimate goals on the horizon.

Beyond disengagement, it is difficult to see how this conundrum can be resolved, and the process moved forward, other than by the discharge, in parallel, of the parties’ respective obligations, which is the approach of the Quartet in the road map, which has been endorsed by the Council. In the light of the mix of facts created on the ground and declarations of intent by Israel, many Palestinians wonder about the prospects for a viable Palestinian State down the road. Only Israel can persuade them that this is still achievable and thus encourage them to work cooperatively toward that goal. For their part, the Israelis have reason to query whether the State that is emerging next door will be a good neighbour. To renew the Israelis’ faith, the Palestinians would have to show that they indeed will be such a neighbour, by making concrete and convincing efforts to end violence. Thus, understanding each other’s needs and concerns, the parties would advance on parallel, mutually reinforcing tracks.




VI. SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ISSUES STATEMENT

At the 5270th meeting of the Security Council, held on 23 September 2005, in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”, the President of the Security Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council (S/PRST/2005/44):

The Security Council supports the Statement issued in New York on 20 September 2005 by the Quartet, which is annexed to this statement.

The Security Council urges the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to cooperate, along with other parties concerned, with the efforts to achieve the goals set out in the Quartet Statement.

The Security Council calls for renewed action in parallel by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on their obligations in accordance with the Road Map, to ensure continued progress towards the creation of an independent, sovereign, democratic and viable State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

The Security Council stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003), the Madrid terms of reference and the principle of land for peace .


VII. ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC CONFERENCE ISSUES COMMUNIQUÉ

The Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 23 September 2005. The meeting issued a final communiqué which was transmitted to the United Nations in a letter from the Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/60/440, S/2005/658). Excerpts of the final communiqué are reproduced below:

Final communiqué of the annual coordination meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OIC Member States held their Annual Coordination Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 23 September 2005, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Ambassador Abdullah Alsaidi, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen to the United Nations. His Excellency Ambassador Ibrahim Jambari, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, attended the meeting representing the United Nations Secretary-General. The Meeting, after deliberation, adopted the following:



9. The Meeting reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif for the whole Islamic Ummah. It affirmed the Arab nature of East Jerusalem and the need to defend the sanctity of Islamic and Christian holy places. It reiterated its condemnation of the attempts by Israel, the occupying Power, to change the status, the demographic composition and the character of East Jerusalem, in particular by its unlawful colonization practices, including its settlement activities and construction of the Wall in and around the city.

10. The Meeting reaffirmed its principled support for the right of the Palestinian people to national independence and the exercise of sovereignty in their State, Palestine, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital. It reaffirmed the rights of the Palestine refugees in accordance with international law and General Assembly resolution 194(III) of 11 December 1948. The Meeting reiterated its solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle to achieve self-determination led by their legitimate national leadership.

11. The Meeting strongly condemned the continuing illegal Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif. It condemned in particular the wilful killing of Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial executions; the wanton destruction of homes, infrastructure and agricultural lands; the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians; and the imposition of collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population, including severe restrictions on the movement of persons and good, including prolonged curfews.

12. The Meeting also strongly condemned the illegal Israeli policy and practice of colonization of the Palestinian land through its settlement activities and construction of the expansionist Wall, which has involved the confiscation of thousands of more dunums of Palestinian land, the isolation of dozens of Palestinian villages, towns and cities and the extensive destruction of property and the livelihoods of thousands of Palestinian civilians. The Meeting viewed such illegal activities as tantamount to de facto annexation of large parts of the Palestinian territory, which would render it impossible to realize the establishment of the State of Palestine.

13. The Meeting noted with regret the negative and defiant response by Israel to the Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice, its non-compliance with General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004, and its continued construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. The Meeting, thus, called once again for respect of the Advisory Opinion and the implementation of resolution ES-10/15 and encouraged all States to impose punitive measures against those entities and companies contributing to the construction of the Wall and against settlements products, settlers and all those profiting from any illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Al-Quds. The Meeting also called for the following specific actions:

a) At the United Nations, further measures should be taken, in accordance with operative paragraph 5 of resolution ES-10/15, and also called on the Security Council to undertake its responsibilities by adopting a clear resolution and undertaking necessary measures in this regard. The Secretary-General of the United Nations should also expedite the work with regard to the request made by the General Assembly in resolution ES-10/15 to establish a register of damage caused by the Wall and to ensure that the positions and documents of the United Nations Secretariat are fully consistent with the Advisory Opinion.

b) With regard to Member States, the Meeting called upon them to undertake measures, including by means of legislation collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets consistent with the obligations under international treaties, to decline entry to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions against companies and entities involved in the construction of the wall and other illegal action in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

c) With regard to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Meeting called on them to adhere to Article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions and to undertake measures to ensure compliance by Israel with the Convention.

14. The Meeting welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 58/292, of 6 May 2004, on the “Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, and stressed the need for follow-up in ensuring that Israeli credentials to the United Nations do not cover the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

15. The Meeting reaffirmed its support for a comprehensive peace, based on relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003) as well as agreed principles, which call for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and all other occupied Arab territories. In this context, the Meeting reiterated its endorsement of the Arab Peace Initiative as adopted by the Fourteenth Arab Summit, held in Beirut, Lebanon, on 28 March 2002.

16. The Meeting expressed the hope that the international community and the Quartet would undertake the necessary efforts to salvage the Road Map and implement its provisions towards its stated aims and goals in accordance with international law. It expressed concern at repeated Israeli attempts to evade the Road Map and to substitute it with different steps.

17. The Meeting stressed that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the dismantling of the settlements is a promising step, and emphasized that the withdrawal should be complete and irreversible, should be accompanied by similar steps in the West Bank and should be part of and consistent with the Road Map. In this regard, the Meeting stressed the need for and importance of the construction and operation of the airport and seaport in Gaza and the establishment of the safe passage (a permanent geographical link) between the West Bank and Gaza.

18. The Meeting reiterated the proposal endorsed by the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement countries to convene a conference for international and regional organizations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The purpose of this conference will be to reaffirm the basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict, and to explore ways and means to establish in 2006 an independent Palestinian State on the basis of 1967 borders as stipulated in the Road Map plan.

19. The Meeting stressed the need for the OIC, at all levels, to continue practical and political support for the just resolution of the question of Palestine. It commended the efforts made by Al-Quds Committee, under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, to safeguard the Arab Islamic identity of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and it also commended the OIC Committee on Palestine for its work.

20. The Meeting, recalling resolution 5/32-PAL of the 32nd session of the ICFM (Sana’a June 2005), and taking into account the situation prevailing in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the grave violations of international humanitarian law that continue to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, reiterated the position of the Member States of the OIC, which calls for the postponement of the proposed Diplomatic Conference to adopt a Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention relating to the adoption of an additional distinctive emblem.



VIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL ALARMED BY ESCALATION
OF VIOLENCE

The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on 24 September 2005:

The Secretary-General is alarmed by the escalation of violence between Israel and armed Palestinian factions in the past two days, which risks stymieing efforts to seize the momentum generated by Israel’s withdrawal of settlements from Gaza and the northern West Bank. He urges all Palestinian factions to heed President Mahmoud Abbas’ call on them to cease the public display of weapons, as a step towards abandoning weapons altogether and joining the construction of a democratic Palestinian society. All parties should be careful to avoid proactive actions at this critical time, and must at all times take the greatest care to avoid civilian casualties and observe international humanitarian law.

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