By Byron Mutingwende
The Palestinian people have the right to realise their national aspirations, including living in freedom, dignity and prosperity, Ambassador Taghrid Senouar has said.
Ambassador Senouar made the remarks during the 40th occasion of the international Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine. The United Nations and the Palestinian people observe the day on The 29th of November each year worldwide with Peace-loving nations and friends. Traditionally, the UN General Assembly called for the observation of the international Day of solidarity with the People of Palestine to mark the anniversary of resolution 181 of 1947, which adopted the partition plan of Palestine into 2 States.
“The State of Israel was declared on the same basis, yet Palestine is still waiting for its independence. The Palestinian people have the right to realise their national aspirations, including to live in freedom, dignity and prosperity in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, including a just solution for the Palestinian refugees which constitute nearly half of the Palestinian people (6/13 million) and the biggest refugee population around the world, in line with the relevant UN resolutions.
“This year’s Solidarity Day coincides with the commemoration of 50 years of occupation, the longest military occupation in modern history, and 100 years since the disastrous Balfour Declaration of 1917, the promise given by who didn’t have the right of ownership to those who didn’t have the right of appropriation, denying the very fundamental rights of the indigenous people of Palestine which at that time constituted around 95% of its inhabitants. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, Twenty-four years have passed since the signing of the Oslo Accords, an interim agreement that set a five-year period for bringing an end to the Israeli occupation on the basis of UNSC resolutions 242 and 338, granting hope to the Palestinian people that they would soon achieve independence within their State and achieve just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” Senouar said.
The Ambassador said Palestinians continue to suffer from the injustice and indignity of Israel’s illegal occupation. Israel persists with its torment and collective punishment of its people, with its arrests and imprisonment, with its colonization of the land ,with settlement activities advancing at 4 times the rate of last year alone and theft of land and demolition of Palestinian homes and properties, building the segregation wall and establishing over 630 checkpoints and roadblocks, forcibly displacing thousands.
“It does all of this unapologetically and systematically. Children have not been spared. The numbers of injured and detained Palestinian children continue to increase. Illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade continue to be imposed on our people in Gaza for more than 11 years, and changing the status-quo in Jerusalem.”
To date, the State of Palestine continues to be fragmented as the occupying Power persists with its policies aimed at colonizing and de facto annexing as much Palestinian land as possible. All of this is being done in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions and against the backdrop of the deafening silence of the international community. Yet, despite the great odds made to the two-States solution – Palestine remains committed to the pre-1967 borders and to securing its attainment based on the relevant UN resolutions, Madrid principles, Arab Peace Initiative and Quartet Roadmap, as HE President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed before the General Assembly on September 22.
Palestine the urged the international community to fully assume its legal, political and moral responsibilities to bring an end to all of the occupying Power’s crimes and violations against its people, including the refugees.
Ambassador Joey Bimha, the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs urged the world to reflect on the tragic but heroic history of the people of Palestine.
“As we gather today, we question the conscience of those of the international community to claim the moral high ground on issues of democracy and human rights as we witness the virtual destruction of the two-state solution as Israel flagrantly and arrogantly violates international law. We call on the international community to put a quick end to Israel’s illegal activities, athing they can easily do if the had the inclination to do so,” Bimha said.