TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Hossein Dehqani expressed concerns about the worsening human rights condition in the occupied Palestinian territories, stressing that "abhorrent Israeli regime occupation" must end as soon as possible.
"We are concerned about the worsening human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular, the escalation of violence against the people in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the ongoing dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to continued blockade and economic embargo, the destructive impact of successive military aggressions (by the Israeli regime)...," Dehqani said addressing a session of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
He added, "We believe that it is long overdue to end this abhorrent Israeli regime occupation, which has brought so much sufferings and pains to the Palestinian people, and continues to be the most destabilizing factor that clearly threatens international peace and security."
The following is the full text of Dehqani's speech at the session.
Let me begin by appreciating the Chair and Members of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for their tireless efforts in conducting the work of the Committee and for providing Member States with a comprehensive report, contained in document A/71/352.
I associate myself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-align Movement by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is seriously concerned about the disturbing findings of the report of the Special Committee as well as the reports of the "Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights", contained in documents A/71/355 and A/71/364. As in the previous years, we continue to express our deep regret that the Special Committee was once again prevented by the Israeli regime to gain access to the occupied territories to meet with victims within its mandate.
We are concerned about the worsening human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular, the escalation of violence against the people in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the ongoing dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to continued blockade and economic embargo, the destructive impact of successive military aggressions and other inhumane acts such as frequent military raids, including raids on homes and school premises during classroom hours, exploitation of the natural resources of Palestine by the Israeli regime, which deliberately denies Palestinians right to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources and their right to development.
The illegal land and sea blockade of Gaza, which entered its tenth year in 2016, must be lifted and all crossing points must be opened promptly and unconditionally. Further in this regard, all practices that amount to collective punishment, including restrictions on freedom of movement across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, demolitions of homes, residency revocations, cutting of benefits, closures of towns and delays in returning bodies for burial should be ended.
It is clear that all measures and activities, by the Israeli regime in the Palestinian territory, including in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, as well as in the Occupied Syrian Golan are in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and various UN resolutions. All such measures and activities, including the settlement construction, the exploitation of natural resources, demolition of homes, forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, the arrest and detention of Palestinians, etc., are illegal under international law- therefore they must be ceased immediately and without delay.
According to the report of the OHCHR, contained in document A/71/364, practices such as collective punishment by the Israeli regime continued during the reporting period. These practices clearly violate a range of human rights which amounts to war crime in accordance with international humanitarian law.
Other issues of grave concern are, but not limited to, incessant extreme violence, terror and provocations by Israeli settlers and extremists, including at the holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, discrimination against the Palestinians and lack of accountability in the justice system. These inhumane behaviors have worsened conditions on the ground, further destabilizing the situation and exacerbating high tensions. We believe that it is long overdue to end this abhorrent Israeli regime occupation, which has brought so much sufferings and pains to the Palestinian people, and continues to be the most destabilizing factor that clearly threatens international peace and security.
Turning to the Syrian Golan, the Islamic republic of Iran considers the Golan as an integral part of the Syrian Arab Republic's territory. Iran reaffirms that all unlawful actions by the Israeli regime, including discriminatory and illegal policies towards the Syrian population, continued deployment of landmines and the presence of Israeli regime's army bases in and around Syrian residential and civilian areas, the construction and expansion of settlements and forcing of a new curriculum and education system on Syrians constitute a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and relevant UN resolutions, and the Fourth Geneva Convention. While denouncing the occupation, we urge the international community and the relevant international organizations to bring pressure to bear upon the Israeli regime to withdraw completely from the occupied Syrian Golan.
In closing, I would like to reiterate my Government's unwavering and full support for the Palestinian people in their rightful and legitimate struggle against the occupation and for their just quest for exercise of their right to self-determination. Also, I wish to place emphasis on the importance of the role and the function of the Special Committee as an integral part of the United Nations, so that Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories can be investigated on a regular basis and brought to the attention of the UN Member States and the international community.