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52. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that Israel should consider its responsibilities as an occupying Power towards the occupied civilian population whose social well-being, development, economic conditions, family life and circumstances had been directly and severely impacted over the past 40 years by unlawful policies and measures that affected children, women, elderly and disabled persons alike. Ninety per cent of Palestinians in Gaza lived below the poverty line, with an overwhelming majority dependent on food aid. Livelihoods and employment opportunities were being destroyed on a daily basis, with thousands of families left without a source of income. Contrary to the principles it claimed to espouse, Israel was deepening abject poverty among Palestinians and increasing their dependency on the welfare system, including through its construction of the wall, its imposition of a racist and debilitating permit regime, expansion of settlements, imposition of closures and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods throughout the occupied territories. All such measures were in grave contravention of Israel’s international obligations. Far from promoting social development, Israel’s unlawful policies and practices against the Palestinian people had devastated their socio-economic conditions and were destroying the very fabric of Palestinian society. Promoting national development and progress while destroying another people’s development and future could hardly be construed as a contribution to international cooperation for sustainable development.
The meeting rose at 11.55 a.m.
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