29 November 2017, GENEVA – In observance of the 2017 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim echoed the repeated demands of the international community in its overwhelming majority for an immediate end to be brought to the settlements activities in Occupied Palestinian Territories which are recognised to be in flagrant violations of international law and are also a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution as reaffirmed in resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council of 23 December 2016.

Dr. Al Qassim stated that the enduring occupation of Palestinian land is becoming the “symbol of the world’s inability to redress the great injustice that is being inflicted on the Palestinian people. This denial of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people is deplorable. Yet the occupation and the colonization of Palestinian land continue unabated. The illegal occupation of Palestine must come to an end”, he asserted emphatically.

Against this background, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman recalled that the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Palestinian Wall Case upheld inter alia the view that the illegal construction of the wall in Palestinian land impedes the entitlement of the people of Palestine to self-determination.  He called for the consequences of the position of the International Court of Justice to be translated on the ground.

Dr. Al Qassim also recalled that the UN Security Council upheld in Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 – and in several other resolutions adopted by the Council - that Israel must withdraw its military forces from the Occupied Territories. The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations likewise stipulates that no territorial acquisition resulting from the use of military force shall be considered as legal, added the Geneva Centre’s Chairman. Dr. Al Qassim said:

In order to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I appeal to the international community to show greater determination and fortitude in addressing the main issues impeding the realization of peace and stability”.

In order to find lasting peace in the Middle East, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman recalled the Arab Peace Initiative that requires full implementation. This initiative was re-endorsed recently at the 2017 Arab League Summit held in Jordan from 23 to 29 March.  

The Arab Peace Initiative – he said – “lays the foundation for the creation of genuine peace and stability in the Middle East. The creation of an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, the return of Palestinian refugees in line with the provisions set forth in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 11 December 1948 and the return of occupied land are key conditions that must be fulfilled before the normalization of relations between Arabs and Israelis can become a reality. The Arab Peace Initiative is the blueprint for building a peaceful and stable Middle East,” added Dr. Al Qassim.

The Chairman of the Centre concluded by welcoming the efforts of the Palestinian political leaders and factions to speak with one voice and encouraged them to pursue effective action towards complete reconciliation to better serve the aspirations of its emblematic people.

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