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34. The Chair said that Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Namibia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam had become sponsors of the draft resolution, which had no programme budget implications.
35. A recorded vote was taken.
Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America.
Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea.
37. Ms. Davidovich (Israel) said that her delegation was disappointed that the Committee had once again chosen to waste its valuable time on the whims of certain delegations whose sole mission was to disparage her country. Israelis and Palestinians shared the same environmental challenges and could resolve them only by working together. Israel had cooperated extensively with the Palestinian Authority on environmental issues; for example, a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders was working to address the severe pollution in the Kidron valley. If the sponsors of the draft resolution genuinely cared about the welfare of the Palestinian people, they would support cooperation rather than antagonism. Like its predecessors, the draft resolution would merely gather dust on a shelf; such useless rituals did nothing to advance the interests of the Palestinians. The outstanding issues should be addressed in Jerusalem and Ramallah, not in New York.
38. Mr. Alhantouli (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the overwhelming majority of members of the Committee supported the sovereignty of Palestine and of the Arab inhabitants of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, which were their principal asset for development. The draft resolution reminded Israel, the occupying Power, that the international community rejected its colonial domination of the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan. Israel must put an end to its violations of international law in those territories, including the appropriation of land and water, destruction of agriculture and pollution of the environment.
39. The joint initiatives to which the representative of Israel had referred were illusory; Israel used them to consolidate its occupation and deceive the international community. Only a week before, its war machine had launched a savage attack on the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip that had killed some 150 people, over 40 of them children. That brutal onslaught was only the latest addition to Israel’s record of violations, expropriation, destruction and collective punishment. It was attempting to draw attention away from the blood on its hands by putting forward initiatives on economic and financial issues. In reality, however, it had only one face: that of an occupying State.
40. Ms. Davidovich (Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that Israel had done everything in its power to avoid the current conflict. In 2005, it had completely disengaged from the Gaza Strip, giving the Palestinians an opportunity to make it an oasis of prosperity. Instead, they had made it an ammunition dump and a launching pad for rockets, over 12,000 of which had been fired at Israeli communities by Hamas in the past decade; that very day, a suicide attack on a bus in Tel Aviv had taken the lives of 20 innocent civilians. Israel’s objective had been to defend itself by targeting the infrastructure of Hamas, whose attacks had paralysed life for over a million Israeli citizens.
41. Mr. Alhantouli (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the representative of Israel had yet again distorted the facts. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory had continued since 1967, and the right of self-defence could not be used as a pretext for massacring innocent civilians. The Israeli Government was using the blood of Palestinian children to prepare for its electoral campaign. Those facts were not in themselves the concern of the Second Committee, but Israel should not have the temerity to claim that the situation was normal or that it was committed to promoting development. The members of the Committee knew the reality of the occupation.