I thank the Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for his briefing. I also commend the work of the Special Committee despite continued denial of access to occupied Palestinian Territory by the Israeli authority. I also thank the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights for presenting the report of the Secretary-General.
Bangladesh aligns itself with the Statement delivered by the Republic of Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
We have just heard the briefing on another unfortunate and gruesome year of aggressive and deadly activities against our Palestinian brothers and sisters by the Israeli occupying forces. There have been repeated calls from the international community including adoption of numerous resolutions in GA and Security Council to stop these brutal and inhuman acts. Yet, Israeli occupation forces continued the blockade of the Gaza Strip, indiscriminate killing of women and children, expansion of illegal settlements, demolition of Palestinian homes and forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. These illegal policies and activities have been creating serious violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law and affecting the enjoyment of political, civil, economic, religious and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. The continuation of brutality and military atrocities including limiting the access to health care, education and livelihood activities are having devastating impacts on the overall social and economic conditions in Palestine. It is disheartening to see that three generations of Palestinians in the occupied territory have been deprived of their rights.
I would like to reiterate Bangladesh’s unwavering commitment to support the just struggle of the people of Palestine for an independent, viable, and sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, under a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders. We also echo the Special Rapporteur’s assessment on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. We believe that realizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination requires dismantling once and for all the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and its apartheid practices. We have no doubt in our mind that this is the only way to ensure the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories.
Allow me to highlight the following:
First, the most important issue towards ensuring the rights of the Palestinian people is the full and complete implementation of all relevant UN resolutions including resolution 2334 (2016).
Second, we refer to the recommendation of the Special Committee to implement all prior recommendations contained in the reports of the Committee and to facilitate access to Special Committee to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan. We also emphasize the need to allow similar access to the Special Rapporteur and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry.
Third, we are deeply concerned on the discriminatory access of the Palestinians to basic services such as education, health care and access to water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructure. Basic services for the Palestinians must be ensured without delay to prevent further deterioration of humanitarian situation. The continuation of Israel’s occupation, and its systemic and widespread violations of international law continue to be the biggest impediment for Palestine to achieve the SDGs which is essential for realizing our collection vision of “leaving no one behind”.
Fourth, we are equally concerned of discriminatory access to justice, attacks on journalists, evictions and demolitions, detention of Palestinians including the children and all other discriminatory policies and practices of Israel. Moreover, we have been witnessing a continuous violation of the UN Charter for decades. In this regard, we welcome the inclusion of the request for an ICJ advisory opinion in the draft resolution on “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” and looking forward to its successful adoption by this august Assembly.
Fifth, the ongoing and expanded illegal settlement activities by Israel must be stopped immediately. We refer to the observation of the Special Committee that establishment and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by transferring the Israeli civilian population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory in violation of international law may tantamount to a war crime. We also raise our concern on the annexation of Masafer Yatta.
Sixth, we urge to develop a plan by the General Assembly to end the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and apartheid regime as recommended by the Special Rapporteur in her latest report and move forward with concrete measures including in the Security Council to ensure the compliance of Israel with that plan.
We refer to the observation of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry that Israel has no intention of ending the occupation, has clear policies for ensuring complete control over the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and is acting to alter the demography through the maintenance of a repressive environment for Palestinians and a favorable environment for Israeli settlers. In this situation, let me reiterate that the only way to ensure the rights of the people of Palestine is the establishment of an independent, viable, and sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, under a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders. We urge the international community to take all necessary measures towards this end.
I thank you.