DATE: 28 November 2010
Your Excellency Mr. Deiss;
As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq takes the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as an opportunity to reiterate its deep concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in the OPT.
The international community, through the General Assembly, dedicates one day a year to express its solidarity with the Palestinian people. Meanwhile, Palestinians, as a result of the illegal policies and practices implemented by Israel, the Occupying Power, endure injustice every day of that year.
The illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip is exerting a heavy toll on Palestinians living therein, who are denied their fundamental human rights, including the right to justice. The relentless construction and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT and the annexation of Palestinian territory - in East Jerusalem, along the route of the Wall and in the Jordan Valley - are fragmenting the Palestinian population and infringing upon their rights. Under such circumstances, the Palestinian people are deprived of any prospect of effectively exercising their right to self-determination, which now remains more elusive than ever.
While the international community has condemned Israel’s violations on numerous occasions, it has engaged with the OPT primarily within a humanitarian assistance framework, thus mitigating the effects of the occupation and effectively making it more sustainable. Yet, concrete steps towards putting an end to the occupation, the root cause of the oppression of the Palestinian people, are nowhere to be seen.
The international community of States is now presented with an unprecedented opportunity to translate its commitment to justice for Palestinians into accountability for violations of international law. The Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict provides a clear justice framework for Palestinians, and its prompt implementation is now imperative. Israel’s continuous impunity undermines the UN and its purpose “to maintain international peace and security”, as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter; it is therefore essential that solidarity be complemented with justice for Palestinian victims.
Al-Haq calls upon you, Mr. President, to seize this opportunity for justice without delay and to lead the Assembly you preside over to demonstrate that UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is not limited to words.