Saudi Arabia has stressed that the resolution of the Palestinian issue is key to achieving regional and world peace, particularly under the current circumstances in the Middle East.
“Israel has been reacting to the United Nations decision to grant Palestine a nonmember observer state status by approving the settlement expansion of thousands of new residential units. At the same time, the occupying authority has intensified its persecution of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it has denied the Palestinian Authority its tax and customs revenue in clear violation of the Paris Protocol,” said Abdullah Al-Muallami, the Kingdom’s permanent representative at the United Nations, while addressing the Security Council in New York on Wednesday.
Al-Muallami added that Palestine is one of the oldest occupied territories in the world. “We find the UN practically paralyzed before Israel’s defiance and contempt for the international community’s deliberations,” Al-Muallami said, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his recent report on the situation in the Middle East that Israel’s policy of settlement expansion has shattered the principle of establishing an independent Palestine. The occupier’s aggressive tactics contravenes the Fourth Geneva Accord, which prohibits any occupying power from changing or seizing landmarks in an occupied territory, he said.
He said the international community should end the impunity that the Jewish state enjoys while violating Palestinian rights.
“The settlements have dealt a fatal blow to the opportunity to reach a peaceful solution based on the Arab peace initiative, also know as the two-nation solution,” the Saudi representative said.
Al-Muallami also expressed the Kingdom’s concern at Israel’s activities damaging the Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and thereby also defying 10 UN resolutions against altering the spiritual and religious state of the city.
“Recently, we are witnessing an increase in the activity of Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, especially between Al-Quds and Bethlehem,” he said. Even more alarming are the figures indicating that 309 sites close to Al-Aqsa Mosque have been excavated, thereby threatening the holy precinct.
Israeli authorities are also systematically defiling mosques and churches, in addition to demolishing Palestinian houses, to drive them out, he added.
He reminded the council that any action taken by Israel to enforce its regulations and rule on Al-Quds will be deemed illegal according to the UN resolution voted upon on Oct. 30.
The Saudi representative also expressed the Kingdom’s deep pain at the level of destruction and repression the Syrian regime is inflicting upon innocent citizens, resulting in the death of more than 60,000 people, while millions have been displace.
“It is quite evident that the Syrian regime has lost its legitimacy and it will not be able to remain in power for long. It is fighting desperately to retain its illegitimate hold on power,” he said.
He added that the regime is attempting to portray the the uprising as a quarrel between neighboring countries, while in reality the revolution is based on the people’s determination to oust the oppressive regime.