GENEVA, 2nd July, 2018 (WAM) — Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, UN, in Geneva, spoke on behalf of the Arab Group at the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The UAE is currently chairing the “Council of the Heads of Arab Missions in Geneva,” under the framework of the discussions on the “7th Clause on the State of Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Lands.”
The Arab Group expressed its condemnation of the reluctance of some countries to participate in discussing the clause, and for evading their role in protecting the human rights of Palestinians, especially as the clause is a permanent part of the council’s work and is concerned with the state of human rights in Palestine and other occupied Arab regions.
The Arab Group also considers the withdrawal of the United States, US, from the Human Rights Council as a sign that it is prepared to pay the price to protect Israel from being held accountable while adding that considering the council as biased for defending the rights of Palestinians confirms the determination of the current US administration to be part of the conflict and to place its political weight to benefit one specific side, as well as its disregard for the grave violations against the rights of Palestinians.
The Arab Group stressed that this bias against the Palestinian people will only encourage Israel to continue its human rights violations and escape punishment and justice.
It then noted that the continuing violations against Palestinians reflect the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its crimes, as well as its lack of seriousness in ending 50 years of tyranny and military occupation. It also confirms the inability of the international community to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people, who have the right to self-determination, as guaranteed by international law and UN resolutions, the group stressed.
The Arab Group strongly condemned the brutal occupation of the Israeli Forces and their suppression of peaceful marches in Gaza and the West Bank, which included torture and resulted in the martyrdom of over 100 unarmed Palestinian citizens, including an eight-month-old child, and the wounding of over 3,000.
The group also discussed the disastrous and inhumane 11-year siege of Gaza, which it considers as an illegitimate group punishment against the Palestinian people and has turned Gaza into an open prison and a world of destruction and misery where all human rights are violated, starting with the right to life, as well a humanitarian disaster that is worsening daily.
The group explained that since the Nakba of Palestine and its people (the Palestinian Exodus) in 1948, its repercussions and its political, social, economic and humanitarian effects have been getting worse while adding that since Israel occupied Palestine in 1967, it has implemented a policy of ethnic cleansing, established its military and colonial occupation, and adopted a colonial settlement system as a form of continuous Nakba. The ethnic cleansing policy against the Palestinian people is a tool for abolishing their presence, as well as for erasing their identity and replacing them with Jewish settlers, in a stark violation of international conventions and human rights law.
The Arab Group called on the international community to urgently take on its legal, moral and humanitarian responsibilities and immediately act to protect the Palestinian people, as well as to finally hold Israel accountable to the law, force it to abide by international charters, laws and treaties, and end its occupation of all Arab lands, including the occupied Golan Heights in Syria, and its ongoing human rights violations against Lebanon and its people, who are still under Israeli occupation.