The United Nations has commemorated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, with world leaders and UN officials expressing support for the resolution of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour read a message by President Mahmoud Abbas to a meeting held by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the UN headquarters on Wednesday.
Abbas said the Palestinian people have endured more than 70 years of tragedies, but yet remain steadfast.
“Despite decades of disappointment and setbacks, we remain committed to a multilateral order that respects and ensures respect for international law,” he said. “The State of Palestine will continue engaging in efforts aimed to advance the rule of international law, including through the building of our national institutions, spreading the culture of peace and empowering our people, especially women and youth.”
Abbas also condemned as a violation of international law US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank “is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
“Such unlawful statements and decisions by the United States only embolden the Israeli government in perpetuating its occupation and in accelerating its settlement activities and in further committing crimes,” he said.
Abbas further urged the world “not to recognize the illegal situation created by Israel’s illegal policies and practices in occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and not to render aid or assistance that would allow this situation to be maintained and entrenched.”
In another message read by Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN chief expressed regret over the deterioration of the situation.
“Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains one of the most intractable challenges facing the international community. Regrettably, over the past year, there have been no positive developments, and the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate,” Guterres said.
He also stressed that Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories have “no legal validity” and constitute “a flagrant violation” of international law.
“The intensification of illegal settlements, demolitions of Palestinian homes and the pervasive suffering in Gaza must stop,” he said. “These actions threaten to undermine the viability of establishing a Palestinian state based on relevant United Nations resolutions.”
The UN chief further called on the Israelis and Palestinians to take steps meant to restore faith in the so-called two-state solution, noting, “There is no viable alternative.”
In another message, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the issue of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue.
He also emphasized that it is in the interest of the international community to find a comprehensive and just resolution for the Palestinian conflict.
The international community, he added, should safeguard fairness and justice, and uphold relevant UN resolutions as well as the “land-for-peace” principle and the so-called two-state solution, so as to create an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks.
Xi further voiced Beijing’s readiness to work with the international community to push forward the Palestine-Israel negotiations and strive for an early realization of comprehensive, just and sustained peace in the Middle East.
In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It marks the day in 1947 when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning Palestine.