President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas’ Address To The United Nations Human Rights Council


October 28, 2015



Your Excellency the President of the Human Rights Council,

The Honorable High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Distinguished members of the Human Rights Council,

Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of civil society organizations,

What we warned of has happened. The status of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of the continued Israeli occupation and its practices, is the worst and most critical since year 1948. This calls for a strong and decisive intervention and requires shouldering the responsibility, before it is too late, by the United Nations, its specialized international agencies and bodies, and its member states, most particularly the Security Council which is requested, more urgently than any time before, to set up a special regime for international protection for the Palestinian people, immediately and urgently.


Here we would like to stress that peace, security and stability will not be achieved unless the Israeli occupation is ended and the independence of the state of Palestine is obtained, with East Jerusalem as its capital, along the June 4th, 1967 borders, and in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions, not by using wanton force, colonial settlement, collective punishment, house demolitions, field executions, denial of the other, and affronting the dignity of our people as well as propagating poisonous hatred and enmity against them.

I have repeatedly warned over the past years of the consequences of what has been happening in Jerusalem and its surroundings, which includes tightening the noose around the necks of the population, and violation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to the measures undertaken by the successive Israeli governments, especially after year 2000, to systematically remold the identity of Jerusalem and its historical and demographic character, including increased settlement construction, illegal excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City, setting up walls to alienate Palestinian neighborhoods, closing its national institutions and tightening the noose around the necks of the population by different means to drive them out of the holy city.

I have noted over and over again that pressure will generate an explosion, and that the violations committed by settlers and extremist, protected by the Israeli occupation forces, against our Christian and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, namely the plans that endanger Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to alter the pre-1967 status quo and beyond, the thing which will turn the political conflict into a religious one that will have grave consequences on all of us, and we will never accept nor acknowledge that.

Here we come today to your esteemed council, to reiterate the importance of its role and resolutions on how necessary it is for Israel, the occupying power, to respect international law; the international human rights law and the international humanitarian law.

In this respect, we reaffirm the importance of implementing the declaration released by the International Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on the full and unconditional applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied state of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, which also provided that it countries are required, individually and collectively, to meet their responsibilities in respecting and implementing this deceleration forthwith.

Israel breaches, systematically and regularly, the rules and principle of international law and the international humanitarian law. It acts as a state above the law; undeterred, unpunished and unaccountable. On one hand it transfers part of its citizens to take over the land of the Palestinian people, as part of a colonial settlement plan, looting its natural resources and building roads, walls and transportation systems with a goal to present a new fait accompli to be embedded into a new racial-discrimination-based regime of their own.


Furthermore, it allows those settlers, protected by its military forces, to assault and commit crimes against Palestinian civilians, vandalize their property and places of worship, and defile their holy sites in Palestinian cities and villages. They have even formed armed terrorist gangs known with names such as ‘the price tag’ and others. Those have committed killings and arson attacks, the latest of which was burning to death the Dawabsheh family, and Mohammed Abu Khdeir, where the terrorist perpetrators are still at large and unpunished.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Long-lasting hopelessness, depression, throttling and pressure, as well as lack of a sense of safety and security under which our people has been living for a long time now, are all factors that breed frustration amongst our youth and propels them into the state we witness today: despair, rebellion against reality and revolt for the sake of their dignity, homeland, people and holy sites which have been desecrated every other second again and again for seven decades now, under an occupation that does not quit killing, torturing, looting and imprisoning our sons, daughters and grandchildren.

Our people’s angry upheaval and the recent successive series of events are the inevitable outcome of what we had previously warned of, including the violations and crimes we previously reported, as well as failure of the international community to redress this injustice and distress suffered by our people, most particularly our youth.

As part of Israel’s persistence to act as a state above international law, its occupation force has recently stepped up its criminal practices to the point where it performed field executions against defenseless Palestinian civilians, including children, and it has persisted to terrorize our citizens by applying an approach of collective punishment, including house demolitions, forced displacement, blockading entire neighborhoods and arbitrary arrests, in addition to putting behind Israeli bars over six-thousand Palestinian prisoners. It is unacceptable for the current situation to persist, for it would kill the last shred of hope for the two-state-solution-based peace.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Haven’t you wondered; for how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last? For how long will our people remain dispossessed of the full and undiminished enjoyment of their rights as protected by international legitimacy, most notably their fundamental right to life and self-determination, and their right to build their independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital as and to live as human beings in accordance with the provisions of international conventions and treaties. Is that too much to ask?

Isn’t it time for the international community to take a further step from merely extolling the justice of the Palestinian cause to taking practical measures and procedures which would actually serve such justice to my Palestinian people and establish peace and security as a tangible reality?

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I come to you from Palestine, the land of prophets and religions, carrying the message of a people who has been eager for freedom and independence; I come to you relaying a message of hope and tolerance sent across to you by my people who aspire to achieve their rights and have justice brought to them, and obtaining their freedom and independence, while extending, on their and their leadership’s behalf, the sincerest regards and appreciation to your esteemed Council, and highly valuing the efforts undertaken by you to protect and uphold human rights and freedoms in the State of Palestine and the entire world.

It is noteworthy to commend, in this respect, your valuable and objective positions and efforts intended to enable our people to enjoy their freedom and right to self-determination and protection of their fundamental human rights, as reflected in many of your resolutions. I would like also to express our sincere gratitude for your honorable Council, for adopting important resolutions, in its regular and special sessions, which unveil the critical human rights conditions lived in the occupied state of Palestine and the suffering of our people resultant from the Israeli occupation and its atrocities and aggressive practices.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to underline the principal role assumed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and special rapporteurs, as well as the work done by the independent international fact-finding missions set up by the Human Rights Council to look into human rights violations, and advise on acts that qualify as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Such missions include the fact-finding missions, established by the Council in its special sessions, in relation to the human rights situation in the occupied state of Palestine, with which Israel unfortunately refused to cooperate. Thanks to the efforts made by the sisterly countries of Egypt and Jordan, those missions were able to perform some of their duties and submit their reports which were considered and handled by the Council in a manner that established the measures of responsibility and accountability in a pursuit to serve justice.

I would like to invite all the special rapporteurs once again to come to Palestine and see the situation for themselves.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Continued and aggravated Israeli attacks against our people shows that it is strictly necessary to maintain the seventh item titled as “The human rights status in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories” as a regular item on your Council’s agenda until such time the occupation comes to an end. Here I would like to urgently call for a review, by the Council, of the reports and resolutions relevant to Palestine in order to assess the progress made in implementing the recommendations thereof, and make practical suggestions conducive to bringing the suffering of the Palestinian people to an end, and guaranteeing their full enjoyment of their rights, since international law was created to be enforced, not negotiated upon. Therefore, the entire international community must act to ensure that international law is objectively respected, and must relinquish selectivity and double-standards.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Despite all the obstacles laid by the occupation, we will press on with building the institutions of our state in accordance with international standards, and we will continue to enforce the rule of law, invoke democracy and transparency, protect women rights, promote equality amongst all members of society without racial or religious discrimination, promulgate a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue, and abide by the approach of peaceful popular resistance. In practice, we have had already made substantial progress, as vouched for by several international actors, and we will proceed with our efforts and endeavors, supported by our brethren and friends, to make that state a concrete reality.

In this respect, we will continue to join international organizations and conventions, in order to safeguard our rights and protect our people, we will also continue to harmonize our domestic laws and regulations with international practices and standards. We will proceed to protecting our people who are living under occupation by using all peaceful and legal means, including continuing to work with the International Criminal Court concerning Israeli crimes, including field executions and violations of the rights of our youth and children. We will also act with the required patience, wisdom and courage necessary to protect our people and maintain our political and national achievements; attained following decades of struggle, perseverance and sacrifices offered by our people.

We reaffirm the unity of our land and people, and reiterate our rejection of any interim or partial solutions. We also seek to form a national unity government that operates in line with the Palestine Liberation Organization program, conduct elections and convene the Palestinian National Council.

From here I once again call upon our Palestinian people wherever they are, to further unite, stick together and be vigilant against the schemes designed to forestall our national enterprise and our hard work in building and development, while stressing that we will not spare any effort to defend, protect and enable our people to live in freedom, security and wellbeing in their homeland.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,


We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the 137 states which recognized Palestine, and we also thank the parliaments which recommended their governments to do so. In this context, we hereby invite the countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so. Those who say that they support the two-state solution must recognize two states, not only one.

We also welcome international, European and Arab efforts which call for expanding international participation to achieve peace, including having the Security Council issue a resolution that includes clear standards for achieving peace based on the two-state solution along the 1967 lines, and set a timeline to end the occupation with international supervision, and launch that it in an international peace conference. In the meanwhile, Israel would release the fourth tranche of prisoners and halt all of its settlement activities so that the State of Palestine can live side by side with the State of Israel. It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations just for the sake of negotiations, what is required is the ending of occupation in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions. Until such time, we reiterate that the UN Security council is required to establish a special regime of international protection for our Palestinian people.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Israel shattering the foundations upon which the political, economic and security agreements with us were built, in addition to the measures undertaken by the successive Israeli governments which led to the obstruction of the transitional phase which is meant to realize the independence of our state, prompts us to reassert our position which was proclaimed on the 30th of last month in New York, that we cannot continue to be bound, unilaterally, by the agreements signed with Israel while it fails to show commitment thereto. Israel must bear all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue, and we continue to stress that we will start the implementation of this declaration by all peaceful and legal means.


Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our Palestinian people seek to obtain their freedom and independence on their homeland and in their own state based on the 1967 borders, alongside the state of Israel, where the two states will live in peace, security and good neighborhood, with full respect to the UN charter, and in keeping with international resolutions, in addition to solving the Palestinian refugees problem in accordance with resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative, as well as releasing all prisoners.

In these critical and defining moments, I extend an honest invitation to the members of the Israeli people, and invite them for a right and justice-based peace that guarantees security and stability for all, while reasserting from this humanitarian and foremost forum, that our hands remain outstretched for a just peace that will guarantee my people’s rights, freedoms and humanitarian dignity. One again I would like to say to the intellectuals, opinionists and politicians of the Israeli society that peace is affordable and within reach, and the answer is simple; your state must end its occupation of our land, your oppressive war machine must stop its aggression our people, settlement activities must be ceased and the criminal acts of settlers must be stopped, thereby all of us will be able to enjoy peace, security and stability.

There is nothing worse than despair and hopelessness and distrust in the present and the future. Our young men and women, O neighbors, aspire to live in an atmosphere of freedom and dignity in order to be able to build their future and life in a safe and favorable environment. There are just like your children: they have the same dreams and ambitions and dream of a safer and more stable tomorrow. Your occupation of our land is the ultimate form of injustice, and is the root cause of all the tragedies our people have long suffered from, and it is the reason that keeps our region and its peoples spiraling in a cycle of violence. We do not want violence, yet the continuation of occupation would expand the scope of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodshed.

I’m not overreacting when I say; it is about time that your leaders had the courage to make rightful and honest decisions before it is too late, to make the two-state solution a concrete reality, because this might be the last convenient chance for this solution, for no one knows, later on, what the winds of change, sweeping across the region, are carrying along. Security cannot be realized through occupation and military and discriminatory force. It is only achieved by recognition of the rights of the other.

We say to the international community and powerful actors: Isn’t it enough, ladies and gentlemen, [for a people to endure] seventy years of suffering, injustice, oppression and deprivation, and perpetuation of the longest occupation known to mankind in modern history, under a biased system that discriminates between this blood and that blood, this color and that color; this one is valuable and that one is worthless?

It is the duty of everyone of conscience, everyone who believes in right and justice and the dignity of mankind regardless of any considerations, to raise their voice and say out loud: Stop these daily crimes committed against my people, have their rights resorted to them and refrain from leveling your fire against them; let them live their lives and build their future on their homeland Palestine. Should our people not enjoy freedom, dignity and full sovereignty over their national soil, airspace, territorial waters and borders, no one would be able to enjoy peace, security and stability.

Our people will not be put down, will not surrender nor succumb. Our mothers raised us from day one to be resilient. From our end, we will continue to defend our people and cause with all peaceful, legal and political means.


Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

We will not accept that the name of Palestinian leader Haj Amin Al-Husseini be embroiled in a manner that is incompatible with historical facts, and that manipulates the sentiments of the Jewish people who had been victims of the most horrendous crime known in modern history committed by Nazis. We also refuse incitement and misrepresentation of the history and struggle of the Palestinian people to obtain their freedom and independence.

We do not seek anything but to live in pride, honor and glory, like all the peoples of the world. So do not push my people into further despair, be their sisters and brothers in humanity and be supportive of ensuring their rights are respected. In doing so, you serve peace and protect Israel from itself and the arrogance of its force. Alas, how short a human’s memory span is, when a victim becomes the abuser!


Once again, I greet and thank you. Let justice, peace and harmony prevail in my homeland Palestine.




Arabic version (original):

340 UK academics pledge to boycott Israeli universities

A commitment signed by 343 academics across UK’s higher education system says they will not accept invitations for academic visits to Israel. They will not act as referees in activities related to Israeli academic institutions, or cooperate in any other way with Israeli universities. 

The initiative will be announced in a full page advert in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday October 27, and includes academics from across 72 different institutions who ‘took the pledge’, with more expected to follow as campaign grows.

This Academic Commitment is a response to the appeal for such action by Palestinian academics and civil society due to the deep complicity of Israeli academic institutions in Israeli violations of international law. For example, Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, has developed weaponised unmanned bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes, and has created special technology to detect tunnels that Palestinians use to break the illegal siege on Gaza.Signatories have pledged to continue their commitment until Israel complies with international law, and respects Palestinian human rights.

The need for solidarity with the Palestinian people, as expressed in the Academic Commitment, is made more urgent today by the current escalation of violent conflict in Israel/Palestine. The fatalities are
overwhelmingly of Palestinians engaging in street protests provoked by Israel’s 48-year and ever tightening occupation. Palestinians are driven to desperation in the face of Israeli intransigence, and its
continuing ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem.

According to Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law at London School of Economics “As a State that aspires to live by the values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights,
Israel needs urgently to change its behaviour so far as its Palestinian citizens and those Palestinians under its control are concerned. This boycott is a small way of saying a big thing: that fairness and justice should be for real and not just for show, that all international laws must be respected, not only those that happen to be convenient”.

Speaking for the organisers of the Academic Commitment Professor Jonathan Rosenhead (London School of Economics) said “Israeli universities are at the heart of Israel’s violations of international
law and oppression of the Palestinian people. These signatures were all collected despite the pressures that can be put on people not to criticise the state of Israel. Now that the invitation to join the Commitment is in the public domain, we anticipate many more to join us.”

“Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians has led tens of thousands of Palestinians to take to the streets in mass protest and is causing a sea change in attitudes towards Israel across the UK university
sector. We will be conducting a campaign across the country’s universities over the coming months, and inviting fellow academics to contact us if they wish to sign the commitment”.

Professor Jane Hardy, Professor of Global Political Economy at the University of Hertfordshire gave her reasons for signing in this way:

“This is an opportunity for academics to add their voices to the growing international movement to hold Israel accountable for its human rights abuses and specifically the deprivation of opportunity
for our Palestinian colleagues to participate in the global academic community. The commitment does not call for the termination of links with individual colleagues nor the end of dialogue, rather it is a
boycott of institutions directly or indirectly complicit in the systematic and illegal occupation of Palestine.”

Professor Malcolm Levitt FRS, a chemist at the University of Southampton explained why he signed the Commitment: “For decades Israel has enjoyed special protection and privileges despite its blatantly illegal occupation and settlement policy. This privileged status has lured Israel into a dead end, with consequences that are becoming increasingly apparent to everyone. In the face of the silence and complicity of our elected representatives, individuals must exert pressure as best as they can. This commitment allows me, as an academic, to collaborate with Israeli individuals in the best scientific traditions, while still resisting the attempt by Israeli institutions to normalise their complicity in grossly illegal and unjust activities.”

Echoing these sentiments, Dr. Rachel Cohen of City University said, “It is the responsibility of those of us who have the freedom to act to exercise that freedom in support of our colleagues in Palestinian
universities who do not have such freedom. The Israeli state presentsitself as an enlightened funder of academic pursuits, and yet it systematically denies Palestinian academics and students their basic
freedoms, such as the freedom of movement necessary to attend international academic conferences, or simply to get to lectures on time.”

Professor Costas Lapavitsas of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and recent deputy in the Greek parliament, declared, “The Palestinian people continue to show remarkable determination in
fighting for their national rights. The action by UK scholars is a small gesture of support and a way of reminding Israel that the arrogance of strength is a bad and dangerous principle for any state to adopt.”

Last week, 150 miscellaneous writers, broadcasters, conservative MPs and others, some distinguished, the others less so, produced a joint statement opposing the cultural boycott pledge in support of
Palestinian rights that was launched last February by 1000 cultural workers. The very publication of this attempted counter-blast by Israel’s friends, the delay in assembling its list of celebrities, and its padding out by those with little or no involvement in culture, indicate both the power and the public resonance of civil society initiatives aimed at isolating Israel.

A Commitment by UK scholars to the rights of Palestinians

As scholars associated with British universities, we are deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement.

Responding to the appeal from Palestinian civil society, we therefore declare that we will not:

accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions;
act as referees in any of their processes;
participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or
otherwise cooperate with them.
We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in
their individual capacities.

We will maintain this position until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights.

2. Signatories

All signatures are in personal capacities.

Academics signing the Academic Commitment are drawn from across the spectrum of disciplines: for example Anthropology, Art, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Classics, Cultural Studies, Design History,
History, Information Systems, Law, Linguistics, Management Science, Mathematics, Medicine, Music, Pharmacology, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Population Studies, Psychology, Translation
Studies, Zoology. This list is illustrative only.

Leading figures who have signed the Academic Commitment include:

Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS of University of Cambridge

Dr. Rachel Cohen of City University London

Professor Larry Dreyfus of Oxford University

Professor Jane Hardy of University of Hertfordshire

Professor Conor Gearty of London School of Economics

Professor Dorothy Griffiths of Imperial College London

Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary University of London

Professor Susan Himmelweit of Open University

Professor Ted Honderich of University College London

Professor Sir Tom Kibble FRS of Imperial College London

Professor Malcolm Levitt FRS of University of Southampton

Professor Sara Mills of Sheffield Hallam University

Professor Catherine Moriarty of University of Brighton

Dr. Gabriela Sandalha of University of Birmingham

Professor Stella Sandford of University of Kingston

Professor Richard Sennett of the London School of Economics

Professor Tim Shallice FRS, FBA of University College London

Professor Julian Stallabrass of the Courtauld Institute of Art

Dr. Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths College


The Holy Land, a Graveyard for Hope


Hikmat Ajjuri

In his speech at Cairo University in 2009, President Obama boosted the morale of the Palestinians.
After all, the strongest leader in the world had finally and correctly diagnosed the problem in the Holy land. President Obama singled out the Jewish settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories as the main obstacle to peace over there. Late Israeli PM Rabin, said in 1976 that Israel will become an apartheid state if continues to occupy the Palestinian territory and called the Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian land, “cancer”.
In medicine, cure becomes possible only when the right early diagnosis is made. Had Rabin when became Prime Minister or President Obama done the proper surgery for this cancer or at least froze building and expanding these settlements , thousands of innocent lives in the Holy Land would have been saved and concrete would have been laid in the foundation of the state of Palestine next to the state of Israel. In fact, Rabin was assassinated at the hands of a Jewish terrorist to prevent any likelihood of freezing settlements expansion and president Obama succumbed to domestic politics dictated by the Zionist lobby.
On the other hand the Security Council in many of its resolutions called on Israel to refrain from such an internationally illegal settlement activities.
In spite of all these calls, Israel continued with its illegal construction of settlements with impunity granted to it by the American vetoes and the shameful silence of the world which was culminated by president Obama silence in his last speech at the 70th UN general assembly in September this year.
This total ignorance by president Obama, of the Palestinian grievances and injustices in his last speech, does in fact contradict the spirit of Nobel and his prize which was granted to him.
This ignorance coupled with the Israeli blatant defiance of the International legitimacy sent a demoralizing message to the Palestinians who have been living under the most oppressive and longest ever known Israeli military occupation.
Consequently, the Palestinians felt betrayed and their aspirations to achieve their goals for freedom from captivity and bondage from this monstrous Israeli occupation by non- violent means are now questionable.
It is made clear by the legitimate leadership of the Palestinians that they will do everything possible to not militarizing this Palestinian anger.
But could it be possible for anyone to contain such anger at a time when Israel the occupying power is doing everything possible to make historic Palestine, the Holy land a grave yard for the Palestinians hope. Any attempt by any one including an impotent American administration to sustain the unsustainable status quo rather than finding the missing state of Palestine next to Israel, will only lead to more suffering for all the residents of the Holy Land. An apple fell and newton discovered the law of gravity, tens of thousands of innocent residents of the Holy Land so far fell and no one discovered the law of humanity.

Article first appeared on 24.10.2015:

Extra People or Missing State

This deafening silence of the International community, in spite of all these gruesome images aired every day on TV screens coming from the Holy Land, children burned alive, killing at zero point, 25 had been killed since the beginning of October, at the hands of the occupying Israelis, settlers, under cover and soldiers against civilian Palestinians under their occupation. Casualties and injuries among the Palestinian civilian population are tragically mounting.

The crime these Palestinians are committing is their cry out for freedom out of the Israeli captivity and bondage. especially after the Palestinians realized with no doubts that the undeclared intentions of the occupying Israelis to maintain the current status quo; where the Palestinians are requested to be enslaved by their occupiers in return for food by others, a profitable occupation. This is coupled with land theft and a call from the Israeli prime minister to his Jewish citizens to openly carry arms.

The Palestinians have endured for nearly five decades this inhumane living, enslavement and a status of lawlessness and impunity to the Jewish settlers, under the Israeli occupation. It is not only last month or last year but is becoming an ongoing process of Israeli repression, violence and collective punishment since Israel conquered the Palestinian territories in 1967. Unfortunately, the Vetoes adopted by the Security Council, to evade Israel from accountability for its war crimes and crimes against humanity, (Goldstone report 4 April 2011)

This irresponsible attitude by the highest International security institution, grants Israel a kind of impunity to make it behave as an above the International law country.

What is happening now in the Holy Land is not just another Intifada *uprising* but is a Palestinian contribution to fight terrorism, exactly as all other nations do in our region.

The difference is those nations are targeting the tail of terror while the Palestinians are targeting the head of it, which is the Israeli military occupation of the state of Palestine, which houses the holiest shrines of Muslims and Christians. The relevance of the Israeli occupation to the overall expanding terror in the region, was asserted by many leaders and politicians worldwide, of them is former president Clinton, said on the 21st of Sep 2010, “Solving the Israeli Palestinian conflict would take away much of the motivation for terrorism around the world”.

The other difference is the defenseless Palestinians are facing 380 000 machine guns carried by lawless Jewish settlers whom are also protected by what is called the Israelis under cover and the army of the Israeli occupation. These occupation forces are doing everything possible to provoke the Palestinians to use guns exactly as they did during the second intifada. This reckless behavior by the Israeli occupation forces aimed at terrorizing and harming the Palestinians under their occupation, risks the unraveling of the already fragile situation. This cruelty by the Israeli occupying forces, ought to be prohibited forthwith by the international community, represented its security council, in its capacity as the custodian of the international law and the internal humanitarian law. Because the Palestinians are not extra people in this world but their state is still missing and needs to be found sooner than later in the Holy land side by side with Israel.

Ambassador of Palestine

first appeared on 14-10-2015:


There will be no peace until Israel’s occupation of Palestine ends


The current escalation in violence did not start with the killing of two Israeli settlers, it started a long while ago and has been going on for years. Every day Palestinians are killed, wounded, arrested. Every day colonialism advances, the siege on our people in Gaza continues, oppression persists. As many today want us to be overwhelmed by the potential consequences of a new spiral of violence, I will plead, as I did in 2002, to deal with its root causes: the denial of Palestinian freedom.

Some have suggested the reason why a peace deal could not be reached was President Yasser Arafat’s unwillingness or President Mahmoud Abbas’s inability, but both of them were ready and able to sign a peace agreement. The real problem is that Israel has chosen occupation over peace, and used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project. Every government across the globe knows this simple fact and yet so many of them pretend that returning to the failed recipes of the past could achieve freedom and peace. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

There can be no negotiations without a clear Israeli commitment to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; a complete end to all colonial policies; a recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including their right to self-determination and return; and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. We cannot coexist with the occupation, and we will not surrender to it.

We were called upon to be patient, and we were, giving chance after chance to reach a peace agreement. Maybe it is useful to remind the world that our dispossession, forced exile and transfer, and oppression have now lasted for nearly 70 years. We are the only item to have stood on the UN’s agenda since its inception. We were told that by resorting to peaceful means and to diplomatic channels we would garner the support of the international community to end the occupation. And yet, as in 1999 at the close of the interim period, that community failed yet again to undertake any meaningful steps, neither setting up an international framework to implement international law and UN resolutions, nor enacting measures to ensure accountability, including boycott, divestment and sanctions, which played a crucial role in ridding the world of the apartheid regime.

So, in the absence of international action to end Israeli occupation and impunity or even provide protection, what are we asked to do? Stand by and wait for the next Palestinian family to be burned, for the next Palestinian child to be killed or arrested, for the next settlement to be built? The entire world knows that Jerusalem is the flame that can inspire peace and ignite war. Why then does the world stand still while the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people in the city and Muslim and Christian holy sites, notably Al-Haram al-Sharif, continue unabated? Israel’s actions and crimes not only destroy the two-state solution on 1967 borders and violate international law, they threaten to transform a solvable political conflict into a never-ending religious war that will undermine stability in a region already experiencing unprecedented turmoil.

No people on the globe would accept to coexist with oppression. By nature, humans yearn for freedom, struggle for freedom, sacrifice for freedom, and the freedom of the Palestinian people is long overdue. During the first intifada, the Israeli government launched a “break their bones to break their will” policy, but for generation after generation the Palestinian people have proven their will is unbreakable and needs not to be tested.

This new Palestinian generation has not awaited reconciliation talks to embody a national unity that political parties have failed to achieve, but has risen above political divides and geographic fragmentation. It has not awaited instructions to uphold its right, and its duty, to resist this occupation. It is doing so unarmed, while being confronted by one of the biggest military powers in the world. And yet, we remain convinced that freedom and dignity shall triumph, and we shall overcome. The flag that we raised with pride at the UN will one day fly over the walls of the old city of Jerusalem to signal our independence.

I joined the struggle for Palestinian independence 40 years ago, and was first imprisoned at the age of 15. This did not prevent me from pleading for peace in accordance with international law and UN resolutions. But Israel, the occupying power, has methodically destroyed this perspective year after year. I have spent 20 years of my life in Israeli jails, including the past 13 years, and these years have made me even more certain of this unalterable truth: the last day of occupation will be the first day of peace. Those who seek the latter need to act, and act now, to precipitate the former.


Stop Talking About A Third Intifada—Israel’s Occupation Must End

Article by Dr. Saeb Erekat is the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

A Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag as others take cover during clashes with the Israeli army at Qalandia checkpoint near occupied West Bank city of Ramallah October 6, 2015.Reuters/Mohamad Torokman
A Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag as others take cover during clashes with the Israeli army at Qalandia checkpoint near occupied West Bank city of Ramallah October 6, 2015.Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

Over the past few days, many have wondered whether this is the beginning of a third Intifada. For the Palestinian people, this question is no longer relevant. There has not been a single day, in almost half a century, that we haven’t suffered from the Israeli occupation; the main source of violence in our region. Occupation means control, which is precisely what Israel has been doing with our lives, with a daily oppression and humiliation in our own homeland by a belligerent occupying power.
During his U.N. speech President Abbas said: “I must reiterate: the current situation is unsustainable. Our people need genuine hope and need to see credible efforts for ending this conflict, ending their misery and achieving their rights.” He called upon the Israeli society: “I hope that you will consider the dangerous reality on the ground and look to the future and accept for the Palestinian people what you accept for yourselves.”Yet, Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist government continues to deny Palestinian rights and to incite violence, clearly indicating that ending this Apartheid regime is not an option. His top diplomat, [Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi] Hotovely, just yesterday declared that this government was formed with the goal of preventing a two-state solution. Netanyahu assumes that no matter what he says or does, the international community has nothing else to offer than to call for the “resumption of negotiations.”
To consider what is happening just as a “new wave of violence” mainly overlooks the point that Palestinians have been under a belligerent occupation for decades, that Israel continues with its Apartheid policies and to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land, and that Israel has been aiming to change Palestine’s identity; particularly occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, incited by members of Netanyahu’s government, are just one example of the daily Israeli incitement not only against Palestinian rights as a whole, but against the very existence of an independent State of Palestine as a sovereign nation.
Palestine has been requesting international protection from the United Nations for over a year, but so far it has failed to take action. Palestinians all over occupied Palestine suffer as a result of the lack of accountability and the impunity granted to Israel by the international community. Now, as Mr. Netanyahu decides to declare war against Palestinian civilians by adopting a set of collective punishment policies, and the Mayor of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality Mr. [Nir] Barkat calls upon Israeli-Jews, not necessarily soldiers, to carry their weapons around the city, we can only expect that more violence and oppression will arrive in the coming days.
Such a culture of impunity has incentivized crimes and has made Israel realize that they will not pay any price for continuing to deny the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people.
What has been happening for the last decades in occupied Palestine is about cementing sovereignty over land that the international community agrees does not belong to Israel, and over a subject people, the Palestinians, all in contravention of international law.
Israel must be held accountable for its crimes. This culture of impunity has to end now before it creates irreversible damage. Israel’s recent actions—including attempts to discredit victims’ families and eyewitnesses, deliberately targeting civilians and pursuing a policy of collective punishment—epitomize the repression and systematic violations of human rights inherent in Israel’s unjust occupation. Israel’s occupation sanctions, oppresses and forbids justice at every turn.
The international response to the events of the past few days has been far from what the situation on the ground requires. I have read some statements calling for a “resumption of negotiations.” Let me be clear: negotiations are not a substitute for justice. The parties making such statements are fully aware that the Israeli government is not committed with the basic outcome required from any negotiations, which is to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.
The question is not whether this is a third Intifada or an isolated wave of violence. What we have seen are symptoms of this reality of occupation, colonization and Apartheid that Israel has imposed over Palestine against the basic principles upon which the international community was created. The world has allowed this to happen.The international community has to assume its responsibilities by holding Israel accountable for the crimes it continues to commit against the land and people of Palestine. Without international intervention things are not going to change. Providing international protection to the Palestinian people and to stop treating Israel as a state above the law is the least that we could ask for.

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News from Palestine

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian boy, 13, in Aida refugee camp


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem on Monday, Palestinian medics told Ma’an.Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, was shot near the heart by Israeli forces during clashes in the refugee camp.He was taken in a civilian car to Beit Jala hospital where he immediately underwent surgery. However, doctors later pronounced him dead.The child was initially reported to be 12 years old, although medics later confirmed he was 13.Another teenager was reportedly shot with live fire in the leg during the same clashes and taken to hospital for treatment, locals said.An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the reports.Overnight Sunday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the northern West Bank village of Bala, east of Tulkarem.Red Crescent officials told Ma’an that 18-year-old Huthayfa Othman Suleiman was shot in the chest during clashes and died in the operating room.The killings follow violent confrontations over the weekend in which the Palestinian Red Crescent documented at least 96 Palestinians who were wounded by live rounds or rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with Israeli forces and settlers.Overnight Saturday, Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun, 19, from the East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, was shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly attempting to stab a group of Israelis.The incident took place just hours after another Palestinian was shot dead when he stabbed and possibly opened fire on a family of Israelis at the Old City’s Lion’s Gate.Two Israelis were killed and two others injured, including a two-year-old infant, in the attack.

Israeli troops detain 11 Palestinians across West Bank


HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 11 Palestinians in detention raids across the occupied West Bank overnight Monday, local sources and Israel’s army said.There were at least five detentions across Hebron district, locals said.A popular committee spokesperson, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers raided the northern Hebron village of Beit Ummar early Tuesday and detained Muhannad Khalid Suliman al-Awwadi, 26, a former prisoner who previously spent two years in Israel’s jails.Three brothers were detained from Khursa village south of Dura in southern Hebron, identified as Udai, Qusai and Abdullah Masalma.Locals said that Israeli forces smashed a Palestinian car while they were in Khursa, where clashes also broke out.Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces also detained a Palestinian identified as Hani Joulani from Bab al-Zaweya neighborhood in Hebron city.Meanwhile, three Palestinians were detained in the village of Tuqu west of Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an.They said that Israeli forces raided the village early Tuesday and ransacked a number of houses there.The detainees were identified as Ali Diab Sabbah,17, Marwan Fuad Abed Kahlil,18, and Sabir Muhammad al-Badan.An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that at least 11 Palestinians were detained in overnight raids.She said that two were detained in Hebron, six in southern Bethlehem, one in southern Ramallah, and two in Nablus.She said the detainee from Ramallah was a “Hamas operative,” while the others were detained for “suspected illegal activity.”She added that two rifles and a handgun were found in Huwwara village south of Nablus.The raids took place amid heightened tensions across the occupied Palestinian territory, which has seen fierce clashes in recent days and which continued overnight.

6 Palestinians injured in overnight clashes in Ramallah


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured six Palestinians with live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes in Bireh north of Ramallah overnight Monday, medics said.The clashes, which lasted up to 12 hours, also saw dozens of Palestinians suffer excessive tear gas inhalation.Palestinian protesters threw stones at Israeli forces in the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, and the army fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters.The army later raided parts of al-Bireh, where it was reported that Palestinian gunmen opened fire on them, forcing them out of the northern Ramallah neighborhood.On Monday evening, a Red Crescent spokeswoman told Ma’an that at least 500 Palestinians had so far been injured in fierce clashes that have swept across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.At least 41 Palestinians have been shot with live rounds, while 143 have been injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.Israeli forces have also killed two Palestinians in the same time frame, including a 13-year-old boy in Aida refugee camp on Monday.The Palestinian Red Cross on Sunday declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory, and said it was putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby.The PLO has also warned that attacks by both Israeli soldiers and settlers indicated “the Israeli government is deliberately creating a situation of violence and instability that threatens to spiral out of control.”

Israeli forces searching for ‘stone-thrower’ find he is 3 years old

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Monday raided a home in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, searching for a Palestinian boy they accused of throwing stones, only to discover the child was only three years old, the boy’s father told Ma’an.Muhammad Jamal al-Jaabri said that Israeli forces raided his home in the al-Ras neighborhood of Hebron seeking to arrest his son Yousef, who they accused of throwing stones.However, Muhammad said that his son Yousef is only three years old.He said that the soldiers ransacked his house and threatened to detain the child, at which point the father said that he told the soldiers: “Go ahead and take him if you want.”He said the soldiers left his home without any arrests.Human Rights Watch has condemned Israel over its “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children as young as 11 and of using threats to force them to sign confessions.Israeli authorities regularly failed to inform parents of their children’s arrest or whereabouts, the New York-based watchdog said in a report in July.”Forces have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts,” the report said.



Dr. Saeb Erekat: Palestine cries ‘We exist’ to the world as UN raises its flag

For decades the flag of Palestine has represented the struggle of a whole nation for its human and national rights. Whether it is from the ruins of Gaza, in Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria, over the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, in Jericho, in Santiago de Chile or in San Francisco, generation after generation of our people have gathered around our flag, reinforcing our rights for freedom, return, justice and peace. Today, our flag will be raised in New York, after an overwhelming majority of the international community voted in favour of this resolution.

 The Zionist movement and later the State of Israel, with the complicity of the international community, has for decades tried to negate the existence of the Palestinian people. First, for them Palestine was a “land without a people for a people without a land,” and several policies were implemented in order to displace Palestinian villagers.

 In 1948, after Israel destroyed at least 418 Palestinian villages and 70% of our people became refugees, some would refer to the Palestinian national cause as a “humanitarian problem of near east refugees”.

After 1967, Israel would not talk about withdrawing from the occupied territory but about colonising what they refer to as “Judea and Samaria” with foreign settlers. Today, despite all the efforts to break our will, the flag of a recognised state flies at the United Nations. This recognised state is called Palestine.

In 1988 the Palestine National Council declared the independence of the State of Palestine. The declaration of independence, written by Mahmoud Darwish and translated by Edward Said, made a direct reference to the symbolism of our flag: “We call upon our great people to rally to the Palestinian flag, to take pride in it and to defend it, so that it shall remain forever a symbol of our freedom and dignity in a homeland that shall be forever free and the abode of a people of free men.”

Yes, this is a symbolic step, but these symbolic steps build upon other steps, which aim to consolidate the fact that Palestine exists. Palestine is legally a state under occupation and its flag now has been raised at the United Nations as a symbol of its international recognition. Furthermore, it sends a powerful message of hope and dignity to our people. With such steps, along with the steadfastness of our people, we are returning Palestine to the map.

 We understand that the Israeli government fiercely opposes this step. We are not surprised. In fact, Israel opposes any step that provides Palestinians any sign of sovereignty or strengthens of the two-state solution. For Netanyahu, any peaceful step towards ending Israel’s belligerent occupation of Palestine is a declaration of war.

 This reflects the fact that, as said by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his electoral campaign, a Palestinian state will not be established “on their watch”. This was echoed a few days ago by Israel’s top diplomat Tzipi Hotovely, who stated that leaving the West Bank “is not an option” for the Israeli government. Israel rejects two-sovereign states living side by side but also rejects one state with equal rights for all its citizens. What they are working on is to consolidate a “one-state/two systems” structure – a pure apartheid regime.

Today, I cannot help but think about the thousands who were imprisoned and beaten by Israeli forces simply for raising our flag during the first Intifada, and particularly of my students at Al-Najah University. I think of Mahmoud Darwish, our national poet and his words: “Standing here, staying here, permanent here, eternal here, and we have one goal, one, one: to be.”

At a moment some prefer to ignore our presence and negate their historic responsibility for the Palestinian catastrophe by strengthening Israel’s culture of impunity − even as it continues to violate UN resolutions and international law − we proudly say that no matter the disparity of our forces, we are here to stay.

As Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah said: “Whatever you do, this land belongs to us and will return to us one day. You are stronger with your weapons, but you are not the strongest when it comes to humanity.” This message has been repeated by the hundreds of women and men who have risked their own lives to defend al-Aqsa mosque and the identity of our occupied capital, Jerusalem, against the Israeli plans to change the city’s identity.

Today is a moment of pride and joy for 11 million Palestinians all over the world. Raising the flag of Palestine is raising a symbol of the universal struggle for justice, freedom and equality. Today we proudly repeat the words of the late Yasser Arafat: “A day will come when one of our boys or girls will raise the flag of Palestine over the walls of Jerusalem, the minarets of Jerusalem and the churches of Jerusalem.”

 Dr Saeb Erekat is the Secretary General of the PLO.