29 November 2018, GENEVA – In observation of the 2018 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Ambassador Idriss Jazairy appealed to the international community to express solidarity to the endeavours of the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination.
Ambassador Jazairy stated that Israel’s de facto annexation of East Jerusalem impedes the prospects of a two-state solution and hinders the realization of regional peace and security. The decision of several countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, thus recognising the latter as the capital of Israel, contradicts the provisions set forth in the Arab Peace Initiative that calls for the normalization of relations between Arab states and Israel once the latter cedes, inter alia, its military occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem.
The Arab Peace Initiative was adopted during the 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit. It was subsequently re-endorsed at the Arab League Summit held in Jordan from 23 to 29 March 2017. In view of the prospects of attaining peace and identifying a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director said:
“The Arab Peace Initiative lays the foundation for the creation of genuine and long-term peace and stability in the Middle East and between Palestinians and Israelis. A two-state solution – with the creation of an independent Palestinian State with East 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.
“The Arab Peace Initiative is the blueprint for building a peaceful and stable Middle East. The decision to rubber-stamp the proclamation or recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a serious set-back to joint aspirations of Arab countries to achieve a peaceful resolution to one of the world’s most enduring and bitter conflicts.”
Against this background, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director considers that the enduring occupation of Palestinian land including East Jerusalem impedes the Palestinian people’s right to “decide their own destiny. The current situation is deplorable as the occupation of Palestinian land is intensifying in force. The Wall of Shame that has been erected to separate Palestinian Territories further restricts the Palestinians’ freedom of movement across Jerusalem. The Wall of Shame has now become the symbol of the 21st century’s Berlin Wall. The illegal occupation of Palestine must come to an immediate end.”
In addition, Ambassador Jazairy added that the removal of all illegal settlements is a prerequisite for the creation of peace and for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State in which its citizens can live freely without having their human rights violated on a daily basis, as highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Mr. Michael Lynk in his latest report submitted to the UN General Assembly.
In order to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director appealed to the international community to show greater determination and resilience in addressing the main issues impeding the realization of peace and stability. Ambassador Jazairy concluded:
“Without addressing the question of Jerusalem, peace will not prevail. A two state-solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine remains a prerequisite for the creation of peace and for the establishment of a viable state in which the Palestinian people can live freely without having their human rights violated on a daily basis.”