Israel is not qualified for UNSC membership, says Kuwait env...| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 01 February 2023 09:33 GMT

Israel is not qualified for UNSC membership, says Kuwait envoy

(MENAFN- Arab Times) 'Tel Aviv violating Council resolutions'

Kuwait's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al- Otaibi

NEW YORK, April 28, (KUNA): As occupying power that violates multiple UN resolutions, Israel is totally unqualified for the Security Council membership, Kuwait representative to the UN said Thursday. Addressing a Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East, Mansour A. Al- Otaibi said the Council faces the specter of the potential candidacy of Israel to its membership.

'We cannot imagine how an occupying power that persists in violating the UNSC resolutions can take part in the Council's efforts to defend the principles of the international legitimacy entailed in such resolutions,' he wondered, referring to the UNSC Resolutions 2334,476 and 478.

'Undoubtedly, Israel has not the qualifications for UNSC membership set forth in the UN Charter,' Ambassador Al-Otaibi stressed. 'Israel was violating Council resolutions,' he said, citing the recent Israeli attacks against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza Strip.

The unarmed Palestinians in Gaza started on March 30 exercising their legitimate right to return to their homes in the West Bank and staged the Great March of Return along the eastern borders of Gaza. However, the Israeli occupation forces used brutal force to quell these protests, killing at least 37 peaceful protesters and injuring more than 5,000 others, he said, reiterating the call for the Council to provide international protection for the Palestinians.

'The Council had, to date, failed to respond to those attacks by calling for a full investigation and had been impotent in getting Israel to abide by provisions of Council resolutions,' Al-Otaibi pointed out. 'As the occupying Power was routinely flouting international legitimacy, it clearly lacked all credibility in running for Security Council membership,' he argued. Noting that the relocation of certain diplomatic missions to Jerusalem also violated the relevant international agreements, Al-Otaibi said that East Jerusalem was the capital of Palestine and called on all Member States to recognize it as such.

Briefing the Council on recent developments in the region, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary General, warned of escalating tensions, outside interference and growing risks of miscalculations, from Gaza to Syria to Yemen. 'What happens in the Middle East today has immediate implications for the rest of the world. Everyone in the Middle East needs to step back from the brink,' Nickolay Mladenov said.

Amid rapidly shifting dynamics, he said, the United Nations was tirelessly working to prevent further deterioration while supporting national processes region wide. Underlining the need for consistent support for multilateralism in promoting security, stability and development, he said prevention must be at the center of efforts, a much needed approach when dealing with the Palestinian Israeli conflict, which remained a central part of the regional quagmire. 'Until occupation ended and a two State solution was achieved, the conflict would remain among the key drivers of the extremism threatening regional stability,' he stressed.

Raising grave concerns, Mladenov said Gaza was 'coming apart as we speak.' 'Another confl ict between Hamas and Israel would have devastating consequences for Palestinians in Gaza,' he went on. 'Israel must calibrate its response and Hamas must keep protesters away from the border fence and prevent violence and provocations, Mladenov said, echoing the Secretary General's repeated calls for restraint and a full investigation of all incidents.

The rights of all civilians, including children, must be respected. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza was also worsening, he continued. Salary freezes and cuts for civil servants persisted and faltering public services would soon move further towards a total collapse. He called on the Palestinian Government to resume public sector payments and on Israel to relax movement and access restrictions to enable economic recovery.

The United Nations was working with partners to prioritize energy and water initiatives, he said, urging all stakeholders to support the $540 million humanitarian appeal for 2018 to meet pressing needs. He also urged all Palestinian factors to engage with Egypt and redouble efforts to enable the legitimate Palestinian Authority to be fully empowered in Gaza. Gaza was a 'powder keg', Mladenov said, adding, 'We must do everything possible to prevent another war in Gaza.' To address those concerns, he called on the international community and the Council to support United Nations efforts and key stakeholders. Raising concerns about the situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), he said pledges of $100 million would only ensure the continuation of operations until the summer months.

In Gaza alone, UNRWA served as a lifeline for more than 1 million people. On his part, Riyadh H. Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, said Mladenov's statement must be viewed in the context of the constant harassment and intimidation to which the United Nations and its representatives were exposed each time they risked taking a public, principled stand on the question of Palestine. 'Israel, the occupying Power, continued to bully States into artificial, 'balanced' positions, despite the absolute lack of symmetry in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, he stressed.

Noting that the situation was exemplified by the dire situation in the Gaza Strip — where 2 million Palestinians, mostly refugees, had long been subjected to an illegal Israeli blockade that only compounded their misery — he said Gaza's residents and Palestinians elsewhere had been 'beyond patient.' They had long endured upheavals, crises, assaults and deep deprivation. Contrary to Israeli propaganda, their recent protests on the occasion of Land Day, on March 30, had been carried out peacefully and by unarmed civilians.

Emphasizing that the protesters had been demanding their rights — including return to their land and to self determination — he said they were also calling for an end to the Israeli blockade that had long served as a collective punishment. 'Exercising their right to peaceful assembly, these men, women and youth are protesting an oppression that cannot be endured any longer, pleading for their voices to be heard,' Ambassador Mansour said, emphasizing that the Palestinians were living through the longest military occupation and the most protracted refugee crisis in modern history.

Against such a backdrop, 'restraint should be seen as extraordinary' and protests must be viewed as a natural response to the illegal, cruel Israeli occupation, he noted. Israeli officials should not have been surprised to see civilians stand up for their dignity and freedom, he said, noting that the protesters — including children — had been targeted with live ammunition in a blatant 'shoot to kill and maim' pattern. At least 41 Palestinians had been killed since the protests began and more than 5,000 injured.

'The international community must demand answers from Israel,' the Palestinian representative said, adding that the Council's failure to address the situation was itself unjustifiable. Urging its members to condemn Israel's crimes with one voice, demand their cessation, protect civilians and demand an investigation into recent incidents, he welcomed calls by the Secretary General to launch in independent, transparent investigation through an international mechanism.

'The truth, however, is that Israel does not want peace,' he said. Israel must not continue to receive support from — and even be rewarded by — the Council, a body it had never respected and even mocked and undermined. Recounting the tragic deaths of several Palestinian protesters — including a 15 year old boy — he said thousands of other Palestinians before them had also been murdered in Israel's ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against non Jews. All those crimes were being committed in a deliberate breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations Charter.

Recalling that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had come before the Council on Feb 20 to present a new peace plan, centered on established international terms of reference and parameters for a peaceful resolution, he said that proposal was a serious attempt to bring the situation back from the brink. However, no compromise efforts would be successful if, at every juncture, Israel continued to respond with aggression and contempt. Indeed, no plan that disregarded the fundamental principles of respect for international law and the right to self determination would ever succeed, Mansour stated.


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