Fourth Committee of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Agenda Item 51: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.
Ms. Shiruzimath Sameer, Representative of the Maldives delegation to the United Nations General Assembly 69th Session
New York, 7 November 2014
My delegation welcomes the latest report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. I would like to express our deep appreciation to the commendable work undertaken to produce the Report, despite the difficult circumstances, by His Excellency Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Hussain Haniff, Permanent Representative of Malaysia and His Excellency Bassirou Sene, Permanent Representative of Senegal in Geneva.
From the Report, it is disheartening to see that life endured by the Palestinians and other Arabs living under Isreali occupation continues to degrade.
Israel, as a member state of the United Nations, enjoys all rights that go along with that status. The report proves yet again that it is a most urgent matter for the people of the Occupied Palestinian Territories that the Israeli government lives up to the duties that come with that privilege. A privilege that Palestine is still unjustly denied. The Maldives would like to emphasize that Palestine makes great efforts to further its goal of becoming a full member of the international community, including the accession to human rights and international humanitarian law instruments. The Maldives believes that statehood for Palestine is the only option to ensure long-term peace in the Middle East. A two-state solution on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, is the genuine solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
It is obvious from this reporting period that the Palestinian people are continuously made to suffer the gravest human rights abuses by Israel. The military operations carried out by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories this year have multiplied those human rights violations, as the report clearly states. This situation is worsened by the persistent attitude of the Israeli government to block or interfere with any kind of humanitarian aid that is trying to reach the population. The Gaza blockade is a collective punishment to the Palestinian people.
The Report also provides insight into the continuous practice of the Israeli government to instrumentalize zoning laws in order to further expand the settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The forced transfer of persons as well as the application of overtly discriminatory residency laws to the population of East Jerusalem gives rise to grave concerns. The destruction of Palestinian property in connection with the extension of settled territory constitutes further flagrant violations of human rights, as legal remedies are basically non-existent. In addition, the settlers appear to be treating the Palestinian people and other Arabs like animals with physical violence occurring frequently, taking such forms as beating them with sticks and throwing stones at them. According to the findings of the Special Committee, Israeli security forces either ignore this violence or even participate in it, following a pattern of excessive behaviour of those forces towards the Palestinian people. The long-term psychological effects, especially on the children in these territories will be devastating and destroy any hope of a future without constant fear of violent mistreatment by the settlers. The Maldives is also deeply saddened to see incidents of recurring maltreatment of children in Israeli detention, described in the Report, amounting to torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.
The Maldives strongly supports the recommendations made by the Special Committee in its report. We call upon Israel to at least cooperate with the Special Committee on the fulfilment of its mandate as requested by the General Assembly. In addition, we urge the Israeli government to put a halt to new settlements and reverse the existing settlement and stop the collective punishment of the population of Gaza in the form of the ongoing blockade. The Israeli government needs to stop the blatant violation of international law and UN resolutions.
The Palestinian people experience human rights abuses in every aspect of their lives, every day of their lives. In light of the findings of the report of the Special Committee, the Maldives once more reaffirms its solidarity with the cause of the State of Palestine, so that its people can finally enjoy protection by their borders and accordingly, their inherent human rights.
The Maldives calls upon all relevant organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council, to take immediate and necessary steps to ensure the protection of civilians living under foreign occupation and domination, as in the case of Occupied Palestinian Territory and occupied Syrian Golan.