Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, addressing the UN in 2013 (Photo: United Nations)
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) summoned Tuesday, July 26 to discuss “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. Many representatives at the UNSC highlighted the seriousness of the violence and humanitarian challenges in Palestine, as well as the impact of Israel’s human rights violations on the political process.
Lynne Hastingsthe Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), cited a “growing sense of despair among many Palestinians who see their prospects for statehood, sovereignty and a peaceful future receding”, due to the illegal construction of settlements, home demolitions and extrajudicial violence by the state of Israel. Her too reference the recent Israeli High Court order authorizing the forcible eviction of Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta area for the creation of an Israeli firing zone, expressing concern about the “potential implications of the High Court’s decision and the cost humanitarian relief for the communities in question if the eviction orders are carried out. »
According to the UN media summary of the meeting, the Palestinian State observer urged the UNSC and the international community to act, saying that “we know what the future will look like if nothing is done differently”. He described Israel’s denial of equal freedom, security and prosperity, and the “continuing lack of accountability” for Israel’s crimes, referrer to the 2021 Israeli assault on Gaza which kill 232 Palestinians, in addition to the assassination of a journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May.
While the American ambassador to the UN rented the recent I2U2 Summit To show “the potential for closer cooperation between Israel and other countries in and outside the region”, other representatives – including those outside the council – drew attention to impunity for the Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The representing from Malaysia, for example, mentioned Israel’s apartheid policies, including torture, deportations and targeted killings, while the Cuban delegate discussed the role of the United States in blocking UNSC efforts to hold Israel accountable under international law.
On Thursday, the Palestinian National Authority Wafa reported information from an interview with the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, who stated that Palestine was renewing its application for full UN membership, as well as from new diplomatic measures taken alongside the heads of state of the United States, France and Jordan. This comes after a July 23 meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, where member states vote with overwhelming support for two resolutions on humanitarian conditions in the OPT and the condition of Palestinian women.
Last Tuesday, the same day as the UNSC meeting, the South African government called the UN to categorize Israel as an apartheid state at the meeting of Palestinian heads of mission in Pretoria. South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation referred in memory of the country’s apartheid, stating that “we have experienced firsthand the effects of racial inequality, discrimination and denial and we cannot stand idly by while another generation of Palestinians is left behind”.
While Palestinian civil society has referred to the oppression of the Israeli state as “apartheid” for decades, the term has recently gained popularity around the world after reports from international human rights organizations as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.