Statement by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC
Agenda Item 7
35th Session of the Human Rights Council
The OIC took note of the comprehensive review presented by the High Commissioner. We express our concern that the report’s recommendations do not adequately portray the entirely asymmetrical nature of the conflict, with one party being occupied and besieged, and the other occupier and aggressor. The overall context is one of colonization and Apartheid. It is disappointing that no reference has been made to the occupying power ideology that explains the recurrence and persistence of violations.
This month marks the 50th year since the start of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. It also marks the 15th year since construction of the Annexation Wall began and 10 years of blockade of Gaza. Since then, it has continued relentlessly to violate the international law and international humanitarian law obligations and principles.
Israel’s occupation and associated policies and practices fragment the Occupied Palestinian Territory, violate the collective and individual rights of Palestinians, and amount to colonialism and Apartheid.
Despite blatantly defying all United Nations resolutions and persistently refusing to cooperate with UN mechanisms and bodies, including HRC and all without consequence, Israel has repeatedly hammered its cynical narrative of being “singled out” and “targeted” by the UN and international community. We reject this distorted narrative portraying the aggressor as victim, rather than an attacker on this Council’s very core principles that has seriously denigrated the rules of international law. It is a true shame to see that some States have been swayed by this flawed and misleading discourse. We urge all member states to participate actively in item 7 deliberations and explicitly abide by their international obligations without any hesitations.
Against the backdrop of continued international paralysis, the occupying Power, has persisted with its deliberate, systematic and gross violations in Occupied Palestine with total impunity.
Its widespread and systematic violations of international law include home demolitions, forced evictions of families and communities, discriminatory land confiscation, excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, the fragmentation of the territory and imposition of an apartheid regime, and siege of the Gaza Strip amounting to collective punishment, among other crimes. Moreover, Israel continues to build the illegal wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, a wall twice as high and four times as long as the Berlin Wall.
We strongly condemn Israel’s illegal colonial settlement enterprise, enacted and maintained by Israeli officials at all levels.
We deplore the involvement of Israeli and multinational corporations in illegal settlements, resulting in corporate complicity in war crimes. We call on all companies that operate, conduct business or otherwise profit from Israeli settlements to immediately terminate these illegal activities in respect of international humanitarian law and the human rights of those living under occupation. We look forward to the online publication by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the database of companies involved in illegal Israeli settlements before the end of this year. Moreover, we reiterate that trade with Israeli settlements contributes to the existence and maintenance of a criminal enterprise, and must be ceased.
The OIC condemns in the strongest terms the continuous incitement by Israeli officials and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people and their holy places particularly at Al-Haram Al-Sharif / the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is clear that such actions are aimed at illegally and forcibly further entrenching Israeli control over Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Occupied East Jerusalem. The continuation of these racist acts is bound to have serious repercussions on the security and stability of the entire region.
More than 7,000 Palestinians are being held arbitrarily by the occupying Power in conditions that breach fundamental norms of international law, including torture and denial of the right to a fair trial. We call for their urgent release as they are being arbitrarily held.
We condemn the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan that has resulted in the violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Syrian population. The OIC condemns all the measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Golan, and urges putting an immediate end to this illegal occupation.
Just these few facts reflect Israeli policies and practices – approved at the highest levels – that constitute systematic violations of international law, many tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The persistence of this situation for decades, without remedy, has inflicted immense suffering on the Palestinian people and has undermined all efforts to date for realizing a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the crisis. This, puts the credibility of the international system at stake, and is a constant threat to international peace and security.
The only way to achieve peace and security for all is to end Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine, respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestine refugees to return to their homes and properties in accordance with UN resolution 194 (III) and recognize the fundamental rights of all Palestinians to full equality.
I thank you.