Mr. President, Excellencies,
I thank you, [Mr. President], and commend you for your decision to convene today’s joint debate on the Situation in the Middle East and the Question of Palestine.
My delegation aligns itself with the statements made on behalf of NAM and OIC. Allow me to share a few points in my national capacity.
We are meeting today while unspeakable brutality continues with impunity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This cycle of violence and Israeli aggression is nothing new. It only gets more brutal each time we fail to act and hold Israel accountable for its acts of aggression. Over seven decades of inaction bears heavily down on the collective conscience of all nations gathered in this august assembly.
The latest outbreak of deadly violence and aggression against the innocent population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in the holy month of Ramadan, is totally unacceptable. We express our condolences for the loss of lives and we stand in solidarity with the people and government of Palestine.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her letter to President Mahmoud Abbas, strongly denounced such abhorrent acts of terror, and reaffirmed Bangladesh’s unflinching commitment in realizing the inalienable rights of the brotherly people of Palestine for an independent homeland, based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The repeated raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque/Masjid Haram Al-Sharif, and desecration of other holy sites, and the violence unleashed on innocent devotees; on women and children; as well as the destruction of Palestinian homes and infrastructure; and the forced displacement and eviction of Palestinians from their homes; are flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws and other international accords, and are tantamount to war crimes.
We call for an immediate halt to the Israeli aggression; and call upon the international community to take urgent and decisive actions to resolve this longstanding crisis. We just got news that the Israeli cabinet has agreed to a ceasefire. We welcome that decision. We shall however, wait to see that it is implement fully and immediately right away.
Let me reiterate the following priorities:
First: Israel must end its illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian territory. There has to be an immediate halt of atrocities and bloodshed by the Israeli forces and its illegal settlers in the Palestinian territory. And on that note, we call upon the international community to make genuine efforts to address the root causes of the Palestine crisis; and to end this cycle of violence and injustice.
Secondly: We must turn around the culture of inaction on the question of Palestine. The Security Council and the General Assembly must fulfill their charter responsibilities. In order to remain credible and relevant, they must make genuine efforts to enforce compliance by Israel of all international human rights and humanitarian laws, and relevant UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and ensure justice for the Palestinian people and their just cause.
Thirdly: The UN needs to engage with all relevant actors to ensure the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The early implementation of the Road Map, Arab Peace Initiative and the efforts of the Quartet are crucial building blocks in this regard.
Fourthly: The humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people must be urgently met. The blockade of Gaza must end to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian and medical personnel and supplies for the civilian population. We also need to strengthen the capacity of UNRWA by addressing its perennial fund crisis. Bangladesh will continue to support UNRWA with its annual contribution.
Finally: The persistent violations of all international laws by the Israeli occupation forces, and the sufferings of the innocent civilians creates a sense of perpetual injustice. Holding the violators accountable would be an important step in finding justice and lasting peace. In this regard, we welcome the developments in the International Criminal Court.
Let me conclude by reaffirming Bangladesh’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people; and we stand firmly with them in realizing their legitimate rights and aspirations. This is imperative for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause and peace in the region. Bangladesh will support all efforts towards that end.
I thank you, Mr. President.