Le Comité des droits palestiniens qualifie d’« historique » la date du 30 septembre et entend l’Observateur de Palestine demander une protection internationale pour son peuple - Communiqué de presse Français
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The United Nations must step up its efforts to avoid further bloodshed following an escalation of violence and increased civilian casualties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a senior Palestine diplomat said today.
“Israel is trying to drag us into religious confrontation,” Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, told the Palestinian Rights Committee, warning that the situation on the ground was “extremely dangerous”.
He said that extremist Israeli settlers were intensifying provocation and incitement in and around holy sites, particularly the Al-Aqsa mosque. Settler violence was spreading across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, leading to more Palestinian casualties.
In the West Bank, Mr. Mansour reported, an 18-month-old had been burned to death, and the parents had died later. Palestinians in Ramallah could not travel due to fear of attacks from Israeli settlers. Most recently, a Palestinian teenager in a refugee camp seeking protection was assassinated point blank by the Israeli forces. The Israeli Prime Minister had failed to heed a call by the Secretary-General to stop sending settlers into Palestinian land.
The occupying Power was supposed to protect civilians under the Fourth Geneva Convention, he stressed. As Israel had failed to do so, the international community should intervene until the occupation was ended.
He said his delegation was finalizing a letter to the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General calling for civilian protection in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “We are heading into rough and confrontational days,” he said, calling on the international community to step up efforts to avoid bloodshed as Palestine’s military might was “no match” for Israel’s military machine.
Mr. Mansour also thanked the members of the Committee, formally known as the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for supporting an Assembly resolution to fly the flags of non-member observer States at the United Nations. The text was adopted on 10 September by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, United States), with 45 abstentions.
The flag-raising ceremony, held on 30 September, had been attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and many ministers and ambassadors from some 170 countries, he said. The attendance exceeded the number of States which had voted in favour of the resolution, meaning that some of those who had abstained were also present. The flag had been presented to him and would be exhibited in the national museum as “the first Palestine flag that flew in the skies of the United Nations”.
Also today, Rapporteur Christopher Grima (Malta) submitted to the Committee its draft report to the General Assembly, which covered developments on the ground and the Committee’s work since 7 October 2014. In the conclusions and recommendations of the report’s last chapter, the Committee stated that, in view of the faltered bilateral negotiations, it would welcome a comprehensive regional solution. The Committee also would urge the Security Council and the General Assembly to give positive consideration to all proposals aimed at breaking the current impasse.
In Gaza, he said, the Committee would call for immediate steps to solidify the ceasefire and accelerate reconstruction efforts. It would also call on the United Nations and donors to secure funding for the long term, including for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The Committee would welcome the recommendations of the fact-finding mission established by the Human Rights Council and the report of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, urging the relevant authorities to vigorously follow up with a view to ending impunity.
The Committee also would welcome the European Union’s stance on the importation of products from illegal Israeli settlements, the Rapporteur said. It would encourage the European Union and other organizations and States to adopt and implement such policies, which guaranteed adherence to international conventions, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, in connection with illegal settlements in occupied areas. It would welcome additional steps by Governments and private business to dissociate themselves from policies that directly or indirectly supported settlements.
Further, he said, the Committee would suggest that its programme of international meetings and conferences in 2016 be focused on amplifying international support for the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, stressing the role and responsibility of the United Nations, and continue to examine the legal aspects of the question of Palestine. The Committee also would continue to encourage civil society partners to work with their national Governments, parliamentarians and other institutions in order to gain their full support.
Additionally, the Committee would strongly recommend continuation of the annual training programme for Palestinian Government staff and, where possible, the programme’s expansion. Finally, the Committee would reiterate its support for the Department of Public Information’s special information programme on the question of Palestine, in light of its important contribution to informing the media and public of relevant issues, requesting its continuation, with the flexibility warranted by developments. The Committee’s draft report would be updated to reflect any new developments before its submission to the Assembly on 6 October.
Desra Percaya (Indonesia), Committee Vice-Chair, presented a report on the recent International Meeting on the Question of Palestine held in Brussels on 7 and 8 September. The meeting, titled “Israeli settlements as obstacles to peace — possible ways forward”, was organized in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the League of Arab States. It was held in Brussels to focus European countries’ attention on the recent escalation of Israeli settlements. A full report of the meeting would be published soon.
On 9 September, the Permanent Representative of Nicaragua and the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine had held closed-door consultations with 15 civil society organizations based in Europe and the Middle East. Those consultations, he said, had led to several recommendations, including that the Committee propose a draft resolution for submission to the General Assembly on a set of guidelines for Member States on actions by corporations and business entities that benefitted settlement expansion. Another recommendation was for the Committee to make more public statements to enable civil society organizations to reference them in their campaigns. In addition, it was recommended that the Committee’s regular engagement with civil society organizations be enhanced and synergies encouraged.
Wilfried Emvula (Namibia), Committee Vice-Chair, stressed the need for fundraising for crucial reconstruction. UNRWA had been struggling with underfunding, and he called on donors to meet their commitments. Referring to the briefing by Mr. Mansour on the raising of the Palestinian flag at United Nations Headquarters, he said the Committee owed the Chairman a congratulatory message. He had worked hard to ensure that most members of the United Nations family had come on board in support of that event. He urged Mr. Mansour to continue to fight for the total liberation of the Palestinian people.
Fodé Seck (Senegal), Committee Chair, announced that a special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People would take place on Monday, 23 November.
Mr. Percaya (Indonesia), speaking in his national capacity, said his country would host the Second International Conference on Jerusalem, in Jakarta on 14 and 15 December.
The Committee will next meet on 10 November to hear a briefing from Mahmoud Elkhafif of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Professor Atif Kubursi on the economic cost of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory.
For information media. Not an official record.