Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Israel acting as a "state above the law," Abbas tells UN Human Rights Commission

By Cath And - October 28, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Mahmoud Abbas] [UN]


In a special meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that human rights in Palestine is, “the worst and most critical since 1948.”


The High Commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, discussed the current escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, and urged both sides to recognise that “violence cannot be the answer.”


Al Hussein warned that the violence of both sides is “carved from fear,” and, quoting former UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, affirmed that “fear is a bad adviser.”


“Fear must be eclipsed by wisdom,” Al Hussein stated. He  continued by affirming that the peace process must be reactivated with “an unprecedented sense of purpose.”


During his speech, Abbas said that, “peace, security and stability will not be achieved unless the Israeli occupation is ended,” and an independent State of Palestine established, based on 1948 borders.


Discussing the roots of the current violence in the region, Abbas said that, “pressure will generate explosions,” and that Israeli moves to alter the status quo at Al Aqsa led to, “an increased suffocation” in Jerusalem and the wider region.


Abbas urged the commission to recognise the importance of urging Israel to respect international human rights norms at the present time. He said that Israel is going unpunished and undeterred whilst acting “as a state above the law.”


More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since Oct. 1, and Abbas urged the UN Security Council to, “shoulder its responsibilities,” and establish a, “special regime of protection,” for Palestinians.


“We want your protection. We want the protection of the world,” Abbas said. “Protect us, protect us, we need you.”


He continued by saying that the current violence is an inevitable outcome of a long period human rights violations and crimes against Palestinians, and for as long as Israel is held unaccountable for these crimes, the last shred of hope for a Two-State Solution will diminish.


He expressed gratitude for the 137 states who have recognised Palestine, and urged more to do so. However, he added that, “practical measures and procedures” need to be taken by the international community to turn words into actions.


Abbas went on to reiterate the main focus of his speech on Sept. 30 in front of the UN General Assembly, by stating that Palestine cannot continue to be bound by agreements signed with Israel, and that “Israel must bear all its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue.”


He stated that “peace is still within reach,” and for peace to be established, “the formula is actually very simple.” The formula proposed by Abbas involves Israel ending the occupation of Palestine and ceasing settlement activity.


Abbas also took note of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the World Zionist Conference last Tuesday, in which Netanyahu claimed that Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Adolf Hitler to kill Jews.

Abbas stated that Netanyahu has tried to “absolve Hitler of ugly crimes,” and blame Palestinians for the Holocaust in order to in some way justify his own crimes against the Palestinians.


“[Netanyahu] prefers to blame Palestinians for everything, including the Holocaust,” Abbas said, and described these accusations as “untrue and baseless.


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