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Occupation of Palestine root cause of crisis in Middle East

Mehr News Agency – Iran’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Es’hagh Al Habib slammed Israeli Knesset declaration on Jewish supremacy, saying the occupation of Palestine has been the main root cause of the conflicts in the Middle East. The unicameral national legislature of Israel, Knesset, in a controversial act on July 18 passed a declaration to recognize the Zionist regime as a Jewish country.

palestineThis is against the 1963 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, according to which, “any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous,’ Al Habib made the remarks Tuesday addressing the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

The full text of the Iranian envoy’s speech at the UNSC meeting is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful,

Mr. President,

I thank you for convening this open debate and also align myself with the NAM statement to be delivered by Venezuela.

The occupation of Palestine has been the main root cause of the conflicts in the Middle East.

With that in mind, Israel must be compelled to end the occupation; to stop its expansionist strategies; and to put an end to all its aggressive policies and criminal practices.

This is the only way to ensure a viable permanent solution to the Middle East conflict thereby restoring the inalienable rights of Palestinians.

Mr. President,

Since the last quarterly meeting, the Israeli regime, confident with the unequivocal support of the U.S. and emboldened by the Council’s inaction, has intensified its brutalities and illegal activities.

So far, it has killed over 140 peaceful Palestinian protesters and injured around 17,000 others. This includes killing and injuring of over 1,300 women and girls as well as more than 3,100 children.

However, even this vast systematic atrocity did not satisfy the Israeli Education Minister, who insisted, “The Israeli warplanes should drop bombs over the heads of Gaza children”. In his radically extremist view, there is no legal impediment to shoot directly at those children.

Israel also continued striking civilian infrastructures of the Gaza Strip and placed new restrictions on the only cargo crossing thereto. This will drastically deteriorate the already grave humanitarian situation due to the illegal and inhumane blockade imposed there by Israel for more than a decade.

Likewise, this regime also continued the establishment of illegal settlements. The latest official data reveals that in West Bank, 99.7% of public land grants by Israel go to settlers only.

Another example is the Israeli plan to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar village, to expel its original Palestinian inhabitants and replace them with illegal Israeli settlement units and settlers.

However, one of the worst developments is the enactment by Israel of its so-called “basic law”. It declares that only Jews have the right of self-determination. It also downgrades Arabic of its designation as an official language.

In practice, this means Jewish supremacy over others; this means that others who have been treated as second-class citizens for far too long, are now, legally, second-class citizens as well; it also means racism; this means apartheid; this means the legalization of such racism and apartheid; and ultimately, it means legitimizing exclusion, segregation and systemic inequality.

This is against the 1963 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, according to which, “Any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous”.

This should remind us of resolution 3379 of 1975 through which the UNGA determined “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”.

Unfortunately, in 1991, when Israel had made its participation in the Madrid Conference conditional to the revocation of resolution 3379, the UNGA decided to revoke that resolution.

Now, after nearly 30 years of the revocation of that resolution, it is crystal clear that by doing so, the UNGA has only emboldened Israel to legalize racism. The enactment of this law once again proves that racism is in the very nature of the Israeli regime. Therefore, the UNGA should not permit itself to be deceived and blackmailed by the Israeli rhetoric and victim-playing.

The adoption of this racist law has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Israel should be compelled to revoke it as it runs counter to the UN Charter, international law and the basic principles of international human rights law.

Mr. President,

The recognition of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, by a certain State, as the Israeli capital gravely contravenes international law and relevant resolutions of this Council and the UNGA.

The international community should fulfill its responsibility in rejecting it as its aim is to legalize the occupation, and to deprive all of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, including their inherent right to self-determination and return to their homeland and to establish their own independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to refer to the allegations made by the Israeli and Saudi delegations against my country. Rejecting them all, I do not want to dignify any of them with a response.

The aim of such allegations is to distract global attentions from the atrocities they continue to commit in Palestine and Yemen. This is in their common interests. Nevertheless, no amount of smear campaigning can cover up their atrocities. They must be held accountable for all their crimes.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Zionist regime passed a controversial and illegal bill last week that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” sparking outrage from Palestinians and provoking concern from the international community.

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