H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq takes the United Nations (UN) International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people as an opportunity to call upon the international community to uphold justice and human rights for Palestinians.
At a time when Palestine endeavours to strengthen its position in the international arena by attempting to become a member of the UN, the international community is presented with an unprecedented opportunity to translate its solidarity with the Palestinian people into action.
The politics of the ‘negotiating table’ have far too long obstructed recourse to justice for Palestinian victims and created a climate of impunity for Israel’s grave violations of international law. Countless attempts to revive the peace- process have been unsuccessful and negotiations have, in fact, been manipulated to perpetuate a state of affairs that violates the very foundations of international law. It is time to unequivocally ensure that peace talks are based on international law, which is the only framework for a just and durable resolution to the conflict.
On 28 November 2011, the Israeli Minster of Defence approved plans for the construction of an additional 119 housing units in the OPT. This is just the latest example of Israel’s continued settlement activity, which, as emphasised in your message for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, is “contrary to international law” and “a major obstacle” to meaningful negotiations. Israel settlement enterprise – coupled with other illegal policies such as the continued construction of the Annexation Wall, closures of the Gaza Strip and frequent military operations throughout the OPT – has continued unabated for more than 43 years. It is therefore crucial that Palestinians be able to enjoy to the fullest extent the protection afforded by international law. The admission of Palestine as a UN member would allow direct access to human rights and justice mechanisms with a view to put an end to impunity for violations of international law and to ensure accountability.
In order to foster justice and peace for Palestinians, Al-Haq calls upon you, Mr. Secretary-General, to use your unique position to encourage Member States to accept Palestine’s application for membership to the UN.