30 November 2010
General Assembly
GA/11027

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Plenary

54th & 55th Meetings (AM & PM)


General Assembly Concludes Two-Day Debate, Adopting Six Resolutions

 

on Question of Palestine, Situation in Middle East

 


All Texts Adopted by Recorded Vote; Speakers Say Israel’s Intransigence

Harms Peace Effort, United States’ Delegation ‘Disheartened’ by One-Sided Focus


Convinced that a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement to the question of Palestine — the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict — was imperative for lasting Middle East peace, the General Assembly today stressed the urgent need for sustained international involvement, including by the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, to support both parties in resuming stalled peace negotiations.


That position was echoed in a broad-based resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Tonga).  (See Annex IV)  The text was one of six adopted by recorded vote in a flurry of action that capped the Assembly’s two-day discussion of that issue along with the broader quest for peace in the Middle East.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli actions intended to change the status of Jerusalem, and expressed deep concern at closures and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, the establishment of checkpoints and the imposition of a permit regime throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which had created a humanitarian crisis.  Reaffirming its commitment to the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, the Assembly also stressed the need for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.


In a related text on Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 166 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Tonga), the Assembly expressed grave concern about Israel’s continued illegal settlement activities, including the so-called “E-1 plan”, construction of the wall in and around East Jerusalem, restrictions on access to and residence in East Jerusalem and isolation of the city from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.  (See Annex V.)


Explaining his delegation’s position after the vote, the United States’ representative said it was impossible to see how supporting the resolutions before the Assembly would contribute to a just and lasting peace.  His Government was working towards a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace and was disheartened to see unbalanced resolutions that failed to ask for the difficult steps required by both sides.  The United States saw no contradiction between support of the Palestinians and support for Israelis.  “These resolutions were wasteful and do nothing to halt the conflict, which was the goal we all seek,” he said.


Throughout the day, many of the more than 40 speakers expressed their disappointment there was no clear sign that direct talks — launched in September and now at a standstill over Israel’s’ decision to end its months-long freeze on settlement building in and around the West Bank — would soon advance.  Israel’s intransigence, they believed, was evident at every turn:  from its forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes; ban of goods and services into Gaza; building of the illegal “Separation Wall”; and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians by Israeli authorities.


Several speakers called on Israel to live up to its international commitments, outlined in particular, in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the last of which was proof that Arab countries had shouldered their responsibility to usher in a climate of peace.  It was now time for Israel to completely withdraw from all occupied territories with a view to reaching a just, comprehensive and durable two-State solution.  Support also was needed for Palestinian Prime Minister Slam Fayyad’s efforts to build a democratic and effective Palestinian State.


Brazil’s delegate said the failure to extend the moratorium on settlement activity and subsequent “construction spree” since September had made it difficult for the Palestinian Authority to resume direct negotiations, because the reality on the ground was being deeply and, some feared, irreversibly altered, particularly in East Jerusalem.  The current state also played into the hands of radical groups on both sides that were seeking to undermine the peace process.


Tunisia’s representative called in particular on the Quartet on the Middle East — whose members are the United Nations, United States, European Union, and Russian Federation — to pressure Israel into changing its policies, stopping the “judiaziation” of occupied territories and respecting international instruments.  Everyone must help “breathe new life” into the peace process and stop making hollow promises.


Still, others drew attention to the millions of Palestinians — both abroad and in the Diaspora — living in refugee camps in abject poverty, hunger and disease, a situation that violated international humanitarian law.  Mahbub Ara Gini, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh, was deeply concerned over their suffering and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the occupied territories.


Drawing out different thread in the complex narrative, the representative of the Maldives also urged Hamas to observe humanitarian law and allow visits to its own Israeli prisoners.  The Maldives supported the right of Israelis to find homes, but not at the expense of Palestinians.  Still other speakers urged the Palestinian Authority to continue to make progress in maintaining law and order, and called for divisions among Palestinian factions to be surmounted.


Other resolutions adopted by recorded vote today included texts on the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (See Annex I); “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat” (See Annex II); “Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information” (See Annex II), and “the Syrian Golan” (See Annex VI).


Prior to today’s votes, Assembly President Joseph Deiss announced that action on a draft resolution entitled “The one-State solution” (document A/65/L.240 had been postponed at the sponsor’s request.


Also speaking today were the representatives of South Africa, Morocco, Norway, Qatar, Oman, Viet Nam, Bahrain, Sudan, Sri Lanka, India, Venezuela, Algeria, Malaysia, Canada, Nicaragua, Philippines, Zambia, Syria, Cuba, Kuwait, Bahrain, Philippines, Russian Federation, Pakistan, Switzerland, Qatar, Turkey, India, Jordan, China, Australia, Iran and Japan.


Speaking in exercise of the right of reply was the representative of Syria.


Egypt’s representative introduced the draft resolutions on Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan.


Also speaking in explanation of vote after the vote were the representatives of Israel and Iran.


The permanent observer of Palestine spoke in closing remarks.


The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday, 2 December for a joint debate on the implementation of United Nations resolutions and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.


Background


The General Assembly met today to continue its consideration on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, as well as take action on a number of related draft resolutions.  (Please see Press Release GA/11026)


Statements


DOCTOR MASHABANE ( South Africa) said his President yesterday reaffirmed his country’s solidarity with Palestinians.  World leaders had confirmed the United Nations’ centrality in the peaceful dispute resolution and South Africa could not agree more with that affirmation.  As such, he called on the Organization to speed efforts to aid Palestinians in freeing themselves from Israeli occupation.  His Government had always stood with Palestinians’ right to establish their own State, coexisting peacefully with Israel on basis of 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


South Africa had consistently supported the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as outlined in the Road Map and Arab Peace Initiative, and Security Council resolutions 1515 (2003) and 1860 (2009), among others.  He called on Israel to abide by those resolutions, as failure to do so violated international law.  When direct peace talks began, all had hoped for meaningful progress, resulting in the creation of a viable Palestinian State.  Israel’s failure to extend the moratorium on settlement construction had obstructed that progress.  Such an extension was a commitment already agreed at the 2007  Annapolis conference.


His Government had noted Israel’s contempt for the peace process, with its plans to construct more settlements in the West Bank area.  To salvage peace, he called on Israel to halt such projects.  He also supported the Arab world’s mediation efforts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, encouraged by the Palestinian Authority’s State-building agenda and appreciated international donor efforts in support of that strategy.  Welcoming international efforts to improve Palestinian security, he said Gaza’s blockade had adversely impacted Palestinians and such acts only worked to increase unemployment and poverty, and impacted the full enjoyment of economic and social freedoms.  On humanitarian front, he appealed Israel to ease entry into Gaza, especially for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  He called on parties to show the necessary political will in finding a solution, as peace was in the interests of the most downtrodden.


MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) said the failure to extend the moratorium on settlement activity and the reported subsequent “construction spree” since September had made it difficult for the Palestinian Authority to resume direct negotiations, because the reality on the ground was being deeply and, some feared, irreversibly altered, particularly in East Jerusalem.  The complete cessation of settlement activity by Israel was therefore not only a legal obligation, but also a necessary condition for negotiations to continue.  She hoped that Israel would seize the opportunity created by the efforts of the United States and others to establish conditions for negotiations to resume “as the status quo is unsustainable”.  The current state of affairs was also dangerous, as it played into the hands of radical groups on both sides that were seeking to undermine the pace process.


She said that Israel must actively prosecute settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, that rocket fire from inside Gaza must stop and that Israeli forces must not react disproportionately.  The Palestinian Authority must continue to make progress in maintaining law and order, and divisions amongst Palestinians must be overcome.  Israel should support Prime Minister Fayyad’s sustained efforts to build a democratic and effective Palestinian State by transferring more territory to the Authority’s control and easing restrictions of movement in the West Bank.  Because the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip was still of grave concern, she said that while the recent ease in restrictions was welcome, fully lifting the blockade without prejudice to legitimate Israeli security concerns was vital.


MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) said Palestinians were “exasperated” by the fact that years were passing and prospects for a national entity were nowhere on the horizon.  Israeli occupation had been coupled with decimation and destruction.  It was time to implement resolutions and initiatives that included all elements of a peace agreement that enjoyed international consensus.  For its part, Morocco had noted ongoing “flagrant” contradictions between international efforts on one hand, and developments on the ground, on the other, most notably Israel’s efforts to impose a “defacto reality”.  Morocco had, through the Arab Peace Initiative, supported momentum created by United States President Barack Obama and recent negotiations in Washington that had reflected the Arab side good faith.  Indeed, Morocco appreciated United States’ efforts to “put the peace process back on track”.


Arab States, through the Arab Peace Initiative, had shown their support for aspirations for peace in the region and had shouldered their responsibility, he said.  Notwithstanding that, Israel continued to try to impose a “fait accompli situation”, which contravened its obligations in relation to a two-State solution.  It had annexed increasing amounts of territory by force and declared in March that it had created new settlements in East Jerusalem, just after accepting to enter into negotiations.  Israel had continued with the “Judiazation” of East Jerusalem, annexed and destroyed Arab property in the city and prosecuted Christians and Muslims, especially related to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, all in the context of a policy to increase tension.  Against that backdrop, Morocco called for the creation of an international alliance to maintain peace in East Jerusalem.  In Gaza, he urged lifting the blockade and allowing the free movement of people and goods.


MORTEN WETLAND ( Norway) said that while the situation in the Middle East always seemed to be at a “critical juncture”, each year that passed without resolution turned out, in retrospect, to be a “missed opportunity”.  Now, a Palestinian State structure was emerging and was scheduled for completion by August 2011.  The bottom-up State-building track and the top-down political track were set to converge in a two-State solution.  While the former had been successful — with the Palestinian Authority cutting spending, reducing deficits, and increasing a sense of security and the rule of law — the lack of progress at the political negotiating table had led some Palestinians to question the viability of the exercise and to contemplate alternative paths to the two-state solution.


Norway firmly believed that there was no alternative to negotiations, but that, to achieve that end, the situation on the ground must improve.  That included an end to settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in accordance with Road Map obligations, as well as efforts by Israel to strengthen economic development and improve economic growth and living standards in the occupied territories.  As Chair of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee, Norway could confirm the donor community’s determination to help the Palestinian State-building process pass the finish line in 2011.  But it warned that continued financial support for Palestinian institutions depended on a credible political process, and that without a political horizon and a clear timeline it became increasingly hard to justify high levels of contributions.  Finally the delegation reiterated that 2011 should be the year when the conflict was resolved and the Palestinian State was established.


ADEL MAHMUD FALAMARZI ( Qatar), associating his remarks with the statement of the delegation of Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, called for an end to the intransigence of Israeli parties and persistence of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.  The “radical position” by Israel breached its international commitments, as it persisted in the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.  There was an international consensus to work towards the two-State solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders.  Israel’s so-called “natural expansion” was not acceptable, and was in contravention of international law.


All settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories should be dismantled, he said, rejecting illegal procedures in East Jerusalem and Israel’s attempts to change the identity of the city.  The international community should reject such acts, which contravened Israel’s international legal commitments and undermined the peaceful resolution.  Such behaviour was not in line with that of the civilized world and it alienated itself with the international community, severing itself from peace loving countries.  The end of the Israeli occupation would serve the interest of all the people — the international community should help the Palestinian people determine their fate and form a capital in East Jerusalem.


MAJEEM AL ABRY ( Oman), addressing the question of Palestine first, said the situation continued to go “downhill” thanks to systematic actions taken by the Israeli occupier.  Despite such behaviour, Palestinians remained strong in their quest for an independent State.  He expressed concern at the tragic situation in occupied Palestinian lands and about the Gaza blockade.  Such a barbaric situation was reinforced with Israel’s taking away of identity cards as a way to “Judiaize” al-Quds al-Sharif.  Recalling the yesterday’s thirty-third anniversary of solidarity with the Palestinian people and sixty-third anniversary of the adoption of resolution 181 (II), he said Palestinians had not been able to enjoy their legitimate rights to an independent State, a situation that had created thousands of refugees living abroad and in the Diaspora.  It was up to the Assembly to take action against such actions as the recent flotilla incident, which showed Israel’s disrespect for peace.  Pressure must be brought to bear on Israel to make the Government serious about Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), the land for peace principle, and the Arab Peace Initiative.


Welcoming the Assembly’s adoption of the 2009 resolution on the Gaza Fact-Finding Mission, he called for its implementation and other serious follow-up.  A solution must be found to the chronic conflict in the Middle East, he continued, saying Israel’s policy was “confused” and “obscure” and failed to meet peace objectives.  Israel must withdraw from all occupied Arab lands in the Golan and southern Lebanon.  He welcomed the United States’ active role regarding the establishment of a Palestinian State living side-by-side with Israel with the hope of becoming an official United Nations Member.  Such developments must be built upon to create a broader peace with Arab States.  He called on all concerned parties to show a positive attitude and requested the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities with the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process, based on land for peace principle and the Arab Peace Initiative, and leading to creation of an independent Palestinian State.


PHAM VINH QUANG ( Viet Nam) said it was “truly heart-rending” to witness the grave deterioration that rampantly infringed on the rights of Palestinian people on the ground and cross-border influx of refugees, including their right to self-determination and freedom.  There was no alternative to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement resulting in the creation of an independent and viable State of Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security.  To that end, both parties should exercise maximum restraint and take concrete steps.


Viet Nam strongly urged Israel to cease all military activities and abide by international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law to promptly remove restrictions on movement of persons, humanitarian aid, commercial goods and business activities of Palestinians, and create every safe condition for the return of refuges, to renew the moratorium on construction of settlements and release Palestinian prisoners.  He said it was also incumbent upon the Palestinian Authority to take effective actions to bring an end to violence, including the firing of rockets onto Israel’s territory.  He also called on Palestinian factions to promote national reconciliation and rally behind the Palestinian National Authority for a National Unity Government with the aim of realizing legitimate Palestinian national aspirations.


He said Viet Nam had been closely following the development of the peace process in the Middle East, and strongly believed in the continued support and renewed efforts by the Quartet, the League of Arab States, regional countries, and the United Nations for moving forward the negotiations on all core issues, as well as to address the current political and humanitarian crisis in accordance with all relevant international agreements.  Finally, he emphasized the need to assure staff members of United Nations agencies, including UNRWA, of safe conditions and unhindered humanitarian operations.


TAWFEEQ Al-MANSOOR ( Bahrain) said that the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territory had been made worse by the continuing daily raids by Israeli forces, as well as by ongoing tensions on the ground.  In Gaza, people were still suffering from the severe lack of basic services, such as clean water due to the negative impacts of the longstanding blockade there, as well as from the Israeli attacks of 2008-2009.  Moreover, Israel had continued its illegal settlement activities in the West Bank, despite international condemnation, despite the fact that they were contrary to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal impacts of the dividing wall in the Palestinian territories, and despite the resolution of the General Assembly in that respect.


Israel’s actions were aimed at altering the political and cultural climate on the ground in the Palestinian territory, and were thus contrary to important international agreements and standards.  Further, the period covered by the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had noted more violence perpetrated on the Palestinian people than in previous years.  For such reasons, that body had expressed its concern over those matters, as well as over the demolition of houses and the removal of populations in the occupied Palestinian territories.  He added that the continued settlement construction and the building of the separation wall had jeopardized the peace process.  Reaching a just and peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question was essential, and would only be established through ending the occupation of Palestine and other occupied territories in the Middle East.


GHAZI JOMAA (Tunisia), recalling that the Assembly had celebrated solidarity with Palestine since 1978, said there had been hope the peace process would pave the way for measures to establish a positive development for millions of Palestinians.  The United States-led peace process had been welcomed and an agreement for a timetable to lay the foundations for discussing core issues established.  Unfortunately, Israel’s refusal to put a moratorium on settlement activity had “destroyed” hopes for establishing regional peace, which deserved an immediate reaction.  Peace required parties to show good will and to comply with their commitments.  However, Israeli actions on Palestinian territories violated the basic principles of international humanitarian law, international instruments relating to Palestinians, and the Arab Peace Initiative.


Tunisia was concerned about how to deal with Israel’s human rights violations.  “We all hope the question of Palestine will be resolved,” he said, but noted that Israel continued with its evictions of Palestinians from their homes, the ban on the movement of people and goods, and the “judiazation” of al-Quds al-Sharif.  Such “collective punishment” must be brought to an end.  Immediate measures were needed and he re-emphasized Tunisia’s support for Palestinians to recover their legitimate rights for the creation of a State on their lands, he continued, calling in particular on the Quartet to pressure Israel into changing its policies, stopping its “judiaziation” process, and respecting international instruments.


Rapid measures must be taken to find a just comprehensive solution, based on various resolutions, peace negotiations, and the Arab Peace Initiative.  Indeed, the situation in the Palestinian territories could not continue.  Everyone must work together to “breathe new life” into the peace process and stop making hollow promises.  In that context, he called for a complete stop to settlement activity, a lifting of the blockade and protection of al-Quds al-Sharif and East Jerusalem until a climate of trust could be created for serious negotiations.  He also called on Israel to end its occupation in the Syrian Golan, adding that Tunisia would work to conclude all peace initiatives and put in place a lasting peace and security.


KOMAL ISMAIL SAEED ( Sudan) said his delegation applauded the report on the situation in Palestine and asked for its recommendations to be implemented.  Despite all international and regional efforts, Israel was continuing with its violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.  Israel’s violations were “illegal and inhuman” — a fact highlighted in any number of international reports on the subject.  The United Nations had adopted a number of resolutions asking the Israel withdraw from the occupied territories, as well as from Syria’s Golan Heights.  He asked Israel to fully withdraw from those territories back to the 1967 lines.


Israel was threatening international and regional peace and security, he said, calling on the international community to support the Palestinian people in their struggle.  The blockade on Gaza was “one of the worst forms of collective punishment”.  It had paralysed life in the area, and should be lifted immediately so that people could provide aid to the ill, women and children, and seniors there.


The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories was unbearable, so settling the conflict in the Middle East would continue to be a dream until Israel respected international will and abided the law by respecting the rights of Palestinians.  Sudan supported the Palestinian position, which requested a stop to all settlement activity, and asked that Israel put an end to the destruction of civilian homes in those areas.


PALITHA T.B. KOHONA ( Sri Lanka) said 29 November each year engendered mixed feelings.  On one hand, there was hope to see a State of Palestine become a reality and on the other, disappointment that the inalienable rights of Palestinians, including to statehood, remained unaccomplished.  Against that backdrop, he reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s unequivocal support for the two-State solution and expressed concern at the disappointing conditions in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem.  Both sides had suffered the loss of valuable human lives and material resources, but Palestinian loss had been particularly harrowing.


Regulations and policies restricting Palestinians’ freedom of movement, the illegal intrusion into Palestinian lands, and destruction of their private property only pushed back the possibility of realizing a durable peace, he said.  Sri Lanka urged both parties to exercise the utmost restraint in order to create an environment conducive to building mutual trust and understanding.  For that to happen, Israel must end its occupation and withdraw to the 1967 borders, freeze all illegal settlement activities and cease construction of the Separation Wall.  There should also be guarantees for Israel that their legitimate security concerns were not at stake.  Commending UNRWA’s work, he urged that restrictions on the flow of goods to Gaza be eased.


HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) drew the Assembly’s attention to a message from the Indian Prime Minister on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  In it, he had reiterated India’s “unwavering support for the Palestinian People’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine”, with East Jerusalem as its capital living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel, as endorsed in the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet Road Map and relevant Security Council resolutions.


India had and always would support the Palestinian people in their pursuit of the legitimate goals and quest for development based on dignity and self-reliance.  Toward that objective, his Government had extended further budgetary support of $10 million to the Palestinian National Authority earlier in 2010, in addition to a similar contribution the previous year, to assist its work in reconstruction and development.  India had also continued to support UNRWA through its annual contribution of $1 million.  India welcomed the direct talks between Israel and Palestine, and reiterated its full support for efforts to achieve a durable, comprehensive and just settlement.


JULIO ESCALONA ( Venezuela) said his country had fervently stated on numerous occasions that the search for a just solution without further delay to the Palestinian issue was essential for creating a climate of peace in the Middle East.  However, it was not possible to achieve real, fair and balanced peace if Israel did not make sincere efforts towards that goal.  The international community had witnessed Israel’s “systematic work” to ignore the Oslo Accords and all the initiatives that had emerged from it.  In that regard, Venezuela had made a strong appeal to the competent organs of the United Nations to compel the State of Israel to fully comply with the resolutions of the United Nations, particularly Secuity Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003).


Noting that history was full of examples of many “savage forms of domination”, he said that Israel’s recent actions, including the “criminal” blockade against the Gaza Strip, the “Cast Lead” invasion and the attack against the humanitarian “Freedom Flotilla”, were expressions of the current “imperialist hegemony”.  Venezuela was deeply concerned about the impunity with which the Government of Israel acted against human dignity and the passivity with which the international community took those serious issues.  It was the responsibility of Member States of the United Nations to decisively contribute to a better and more just world, which was incompatible with the constant violation of international humanitarian law and the human rights of men, women and children by the State of Israel.


MOURAD BENMEHIDI ( Algeria) said ongoing developments in the occupied Palestinian territories showed continued violations of Palestinian rights and a worsening situation as a result of Israel’s acceleration of illegal settlements, settler violence, home demolitions and forced evictions.  Despite recent efforts to revitalize the peace process, Israel continued to carry out its illegal actions in East Jerusalem, altering the physical, legal and institutional structure of the occupied territory, measures that were intended to annex that territory by bringing about long-term demographic changes.


The “disturbing” situation in Gaza revealed that Palestinians were being collectively punished.  Some 1.5 million Gazans had been isolated over the years, prohibited to study at West Bank universities and maintain social contact with their families, among other things.  Similarly, the imprisonment of some 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, where torture was widely used, was a matter of serious concern and the international community could not continue to ignore that “scandalous” challenge to international humanitarian law.


A clear and urgent stand must be adopted for an immediate release of that illegally detained population, he stressed.  Israel’s unlawful actions on the ground, in contrast to its professions of participation in the peace process, showed that its only goal was to undermine future prospects for a peaceful settlement.  He called on the international community, especially the Security Council, to halt Israel’s brutal practices, through implementation of Council resolutions and adoption of measures to protect Palestinians.  A complete end of all settlement activities and human rights violations was a prerequisite for creating an environment conducive to a genuine peace process.  Negotiations were imperative for achieving a two-State solution, in line with resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.  With that, he reiterated that any negotiated outcome between the parties must result in an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State with al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.


ABDUL GAFOOR MOHAMED ( Maldives) said his delegation supported the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.  It was a great concern and disappointment that Palestinians continued to suffer, as they had been denied their peace and freedom too long.  But he also supported the right of the people of Israel to live in peace and security alongside the people of Palestine.  That issue had been before the Assembly for 63 years now, and he strongly encouraged both sides to engage in talks to work towards peace.  He also called for the release of all innocent Palestinians from Israeli prisons, but urged Hamas to observe humanitarian law and allow visits to its own Israeli prisoners.


Violation of human rights would continue to hinder the peace process and nurture mistrust on both sides, he said.  The Maldives welcomed efforts to ease the blockade on Gaza, but condemned the blockade itself and called for it to be lifted.  His Government also supported to right of Israeli’s to find homes, but not at the expense of Palestinians.  He went on to condemn all forms of terrorism; his delegation did not believe that violence could meaningfully contribute to a two-State solution, and therefore called an end to it.  The Maldives continued its call for all sides to return to peace talks to end their differences.  Dialogue and constructive engagement was needed — more violence would merely increase bloodshed on both sides.


MAHBUB ARA GINI, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh, expressed her country’s support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just and legitimate struggle for the right of self-determination and Statehood, as well as longstanding position that the continued occupation of Palestine was the root cause of violence, unrest and destabilization in the wider region.  The Palestinian people, under illegal occupation for over five decades, continued to despair, as their fundamental right to self-determination and to attain a sovereign State remained unrealized.  Millions of Palestinians were living in refugee camps in abject poverty, facing hunger, disease and malnutrition.  Bangladesh was deeply concerned over their continued suffering and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the occupied territories.


She charged that Israel had continued to violate international humanitarian law by committing systematic human rights violation against the Palestinian people, such that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem, had remained critical as indiscriminate closures by Israel were impeding access of humanitarian assistance to the occupied territories, halting commercial activities and causing loss of thousands of jobs.  Not only had Israel restricted access to basic necessities of life, it was also destroying the Palestinian people’s social fabric due to widespread displacement.  In that regard, she demanded the immediate withdrawal of all restrictions on the movements of Palestinian civilians.  Further, Bangladesh believed that the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and construction of the separation wall threatened to derail the ongoing peace negotiations.  Bangladesh believed that only the full and sincere implementation of the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions could resolve the Palestinian crisis, she added.


HAMIDON ALI ( Malaysia) said the resumption of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel in September was a laudable initiative, but his country was disheartened that the “courageous undertaking” faced an impasse with no clear sign of further progress.  Israel’s intransigence was evident from continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank; forced evictions of Palestinians and the building of the illegal separation wall; attacks by extremist Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians; the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians who were subjected to ill treatment and torture by Israeli authorities; the imposition of measures that constituted a form of collective punishment such as the illegal blockade of Gaza; and legislation approved by the Israeli Parliament last Monday which required two-thirds majority or a referendum on any potential land-for-peace agreement.


“It is obvious that such exploitations are not only illegal and immoral, but are also counter-productive to the aim of achieving genuine and lasting peace.  Israel cannot cloud the eyes of the international community by simply enumerating actions undertaken to lessen the sufferings of the Palestinians,” he said.  Israel must end the long-standing conflict by improving the situation on the ground and stopping construction of illegal settlements, lifting the blockade in Gaza, addressing humanitarian needs and improving the atmosphere for negotiations.  He called on the United States and others to persuade Israel to stop its intransience, particularly the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.  However, he added, political unity among Palestinians was equally important to move the peace process forward and reconstruct the Gaza Strip.


GILLES RIVARD ( Canada) said that while the situation on the ground had remained largely calm since the Gaza conflict, there continued to be sporadic rocket attacks on Israel coming from Gaza, which he strongly condemned as designed to ensure the failure of the United States-led peace talks.  It was important that those “spoiler elements” not be given the opportunity to derail the chance for peace.  For the talks to succeed, it was imperative that parties “take a risk for peace”.  Acknowledging that that was not easy to do in a part of the world where mistrust ran high and the risks were real, he warned however, that without genuine leadership and a vision for a better tomorrow, the future would only hold continued violence and bloodshed.


Every effort therefore, had to be made to ensure that eventuality was not allowed to occur.  He said it was important to note that the Palestinian Authority had made commendable and real progress in its reforms, but added that more needed to be done.  It was for that reason that Canada’s assistance was focussed clearly on the security and justice sectors.  At the same time, action was needed by the Government of Israel to address its obligations regarding settlements, access and movement.


Continuing, he said Canada continued to recognize the important role of the United Nations and its Member States in supporting the peace process; and United Nations agencies remained at the forefront of providing assistance to those in need in the region.  However, Canada remained concerned about the number of resolutions that singled out Israel, as well as the disproportionate focus placed on the Middle East.  Now more than ever, the efforts of the Organization and its Member States needed to complement efforts towards ensuring that peace talks began again and that a climate for success was created, he added.


MARÍA RUBIALES DE CHAMORRO ( Nicaragua) said that after 63 years, Israel was still refusing peace and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State.  The international community witnessed daily images of hardships endured by the Palestinian people, including by women and children.  The “supposed deadlock” of the peace negotiations for more than a month was more evidence of Israel’s lack of interest in reaching peace.  Indeed for many years, the more hawkish sectors of Israel had declared that the only viable policy was war — and its actions had included genocide, a blockade of Gaza, and the collective punishment of an entire people.


Israel had used its military capabilities to continue war against the Palestinians, often with the support of other nations who furnished supplies.  Those very supplies, he said, had killed “in cold blood” nine people on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.  This nation was particularly responsible for its actions in the Security Council, where there was now a threat to veto the creation of an independent Palestinian State.  The representative noted that Lebanon and Syria, as well as all countries of the region, must be part of any peace agreement.  The agreement must also include the nuclear disarmament of Israel and its acceptance of all related nuclear treaties, which would ensure a climate of trust across the region.  Finally, he requested that those countries that had not yet done so transform their support into solid recognition of a Palestinian State, and that the General Assembly take a stand toward recognizing a free and sovereign Palestinian State.


LIBRAN N. CABACTULAN ( Philippines) said that the Philippines shared with the Palestinian people their legitimate aspirations to achieve justice, peace and freedom.  In the General Assembly’s regular debate on the topic, the Philippines had consistently supported the Palestinians’ quest for self-rule and self-determination, as well as the establishment of a Palestinian homeland.  It had also repeatedly expressed its support for the complete and unconditional lifting of the blockade imposed by Israel on the occupied Palestinian territories, especially Gaza.  The blockade was counterproductive, as it served only to punish civilians, especially women and children.


He welcomed the resumption of the protracted talks between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel, and was hopeful that despite the year’s obstacles and hurdles, a breakthrough might be achieved in due time.  More work and sacrifice were still needed, however.  The Philippines urged both parties to work together to forge a lasting peace, and urged the international community not to lose sight of the fact that all people had a stake in the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.  The Philippines stood ready to cooperate and work together with like-minded Member States to find a correct answer to the question of Palestine both for the stability of the Middle East region and for the benefit of the entire world.


MUYAMBO SIPANGULE (Zambia), associating with the statement made earlier on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed the hope to see peaceful negotiations continue.  He reiterated support for Palestinians’ inalienable right to a State of their own in full, secure boundaries and sovereignty, and in peaceful coexistence with Israel.  As a country that maintained mutually beneficial relations with Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, Zambia urged the two parties to “seize the moment” signalled by the Quartet’s renewed commitment to engage in honest negotiations.


Palestinians and Israelis also required the support of the Security Council and the international community to bring them to the negotiation table, and he urged all parties to adhere to international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions on such matters.  Recognizing the important work of UNRWA in Gaza and the West Bank, he called on Israel to cooperate with and the United Nations to increase support to the Agency, as it was the “life blood” of the people in the occupied territories.  In sum, he reaffirmed Zambia’s commitments to all efforts leading to a mutual, acceptable negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Speaking in exercise of the right of reply before the Assembly wrapped up its discussion on the question of Palestine, the representative of Syria read out titles of articles published in the Israeli press that he said showed the Israeli Government was attempting to mislead its people.  State terrorism by Israel was documented by a number of institutions.  “Such terrorism is something Israel excels at,” he said, “it carries out the most atrocious crimes against civilians.”  Israeli State terrorism had not even spared representatives of the United Nations, and included crimes against peacekeepers.  Perhaps Israel could deceive and lead some to believe its lies, but it could not do that forever because its policies had become well-known and had been condemned by most countries around the world.  Israel would need a great deal of forgiveness from its victims.  Israel needed to be more introspective and aware of its “terrorist crimes”, which had occurred for decades, he said.


Introduction of Drafts on the Situation in the Middle East


MAGED ABDEL AZIZ (Egypt), introducing two resolutions ahead of the Assembly’s debate on the situation in the Middle East, noted initially that the region was passing through an extremely dangerous phase as a result of Israel’s “intransigent positions”.  There had been an increased pattern of Israeli violations of international law, human rights and international humanitarian law, which were manifested in many practices.  It was disappointing that the violations perpetrated by Israel were linked to a deliberate quest to fail all attempts to resume the direct negotiation that had been agreed to and condoned by Palestine.  That refusal also suggested that Israel was unwilling to reach any peaceful settlement, resulting in dire consequences for the region and the world.


The international community, represented by the General Assembly, was today being called more than ever to provide political support for efforts aiming at resuming the negotiation process, to emphasize the illegality of acquiring others’ territory by force, and to compel Israel to implement its commitments and to enter into serious negotiations on six core issues, leading to a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of all relevant agreements.  The Assembly must also stress and confirm the illegality of measures taken or to be taken by Israel aimed at changing the legal status or the facts on the ground in the occupied Syrian Golan, which were null and void as they represented a clear violation of relevant United Nations resolutions.


In that vein, he went on to introduce the first draft resolution, on Jerusalem (document A/65/L.18), and the second, on Syrian Golan (document A/65/L.19), both of which addressed the respective situations on the ground and reaffirmed the relevant United Nations resolutions and other relevant agreements.  The delegate noted that the text on the Syrian Golan also renewed calls upon Israel to withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.  It also called for the resumption of direct peace negotiations on the Syrian track and the respect of commitments reached through previous negotiations.


BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) wondered how long the Assembly would continue its consideration of the situation in the Middle East, as years had passed without resolution to the calls for Israel to end its occupation of Arab territories.  Any effort to impose jurisdiction in the Syrian Golan had no legality, and was null and void.  It was up to the Assembly to ensure peace and security after the Security Council’s failure to ensure implementation of its resolutions, including on occupied Jerusalem and occupied Syrian Golan.  Was the international community not aware that Israel was flouting international ethical principles?  Today, the chance of war appeared to be trumping that for peace, with an unprecedented level of settlement construction.  Israel was building 1,300 housing units in East Jerusalem at a time when the world was working to achieve peace, which itself was a prerequisite for regional stability.


Moreover, Israel maintained its blockade of Gaza and threatened to evict Palestinians from their land, he said, calling such behaviour “discriminatory racism” that called for “religious and ethnic cleansing” to give rise to the “mirage” of Israeli Judaism.  It continued construction of the racist separation wall and took such racist decisions as to require a loyalty oath from non-Jews.  That was the antithesis of calls to respect international law.  Syria and the Arab States believed peace was a strategic option, as seen in the adoption of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which outlined the need for recuperation of land, Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, and return of Palestinian refugees.


Israel had ignored such appeals, continuing to seize territory and increase its aggression against Lebanon, he continued.  It refused to return the occupied Syrian Golan, in compliance with resolution 497 (1981), and planned to organize a referendum on withdrawal from East Jerusalem, which violated international law.  The Syrian Golan was occupied Syrian territory and the land must be return up to the 1967 borders.  “This is not negotiable”, he said.  “Peace must be based on our claim.”  He wondered whether a State based on illegal occupation and murder of citizens, notably in Lebanon and Gaza, could act in support of peace.  Could it be a full partner in the peace process, particularly with one of the most extremist Governments?  The global community must take concrete measures to help end settlement construction, lift the blockade and end Israeli occupation.


RODOLFO BENITEZ VERSON ( Cuba) said his country fully supported and would vote in favour of the draft resolution put forward by the representative of Egypt.  Israel’s disregard for international law and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories continued to be the primary impediment to peace in the region.  The international community must demand Israeli authorities to lift the cruel blockade in the Gaza Strip — humanitarian access must be guaranteed on a regular basis, in compliance with the Geneva Convention and United Nations resolutions.  Palestinians continued to be denied their human rights, including their right to self-determination, he added.


The Israeli authorities, in clear rejection of international law and in open disregard of United Nations resolutions, continued aggressive actions in the region.  He called for an immediate end to settlement activities, which was an absolute prerequisite for a peace agreement.  Any measures taken by Israel in attempt to alter the demographics in Syrian Golan Heights would be null and void and have no effect — the construction of settlements there since 1967 were in clear violation of international law.  Cuba also called Israel to withdraw from Syrian Golan to the borders that existed before 1967.  He rejected the use of Israel’s unilateral measures and strategies to impose a unilateral solution.  The unconditional return of all occupied Arab lands taken in June 1967 was the only way to achieve peace in the region, he said.


ABDULAZIZ ALJARALLAH ( Kuwait) thanked the Secretary-General for reviving the Middle East peace process, and expressed Kuwait’s solidarity with its Palestinian brothers.  The Middle East still suffered from the negative effects of Israel’s actions, including its continued disregard for the decisions of the international community and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, as well as other more recent calls for direct negotiations.  Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, including its siege of the Gaza Strip, were evidence attesting to Israel’s continued violations of international rules and humanitarian principles.


Continuing, he said the situation in East Jerusalem had reached a “critical point” and would have negative international repercussions if a solution was not found.  In the same framework, Kuwait called for the implementation by Israel of those resolutions urging its withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and from Lebanon, whose occupation posed a real obstacle to the search for lasting peace in the Middle East.  Moreover, international efforts toward finding a lasting peace solution had been hampered, as Israel had blocked American efforts to return to peace negotiations.  That had created a sense of pessimism in countries across the world.  In order to achieve a lasting solution, it was necessary for Israel to withdraw from all occupied Arab lands.


TAWFEEQ AHMED ALMANSOOR ( Bahrain) said the Middle East faced considerable challenges, as the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace was still inaccessible due to Israeli intransigence.  Despite options for peace, Israel viewed such opportunities with arrogance, believing that approach would allow it more time.  Worsening the situation was Israel’s continued settlement construction, most recently with 1,360 units under way in East Jerusalem, contravening numerous resolutions emphasizing the invalidity of annexing land by force, including Security Council resolutions 446 (1979), 476 (1980) and 478 (1980).  They also contravened relevant articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Indeed, there was no doubt that such intransigence reflected a lack of seriousness for achieving a just solution to the question of Palestine, the crux of regional conflict.


He emphasized the cardinal principles of the peace process on the basis of relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and in line with the Road Map and principle of land for peace.  The Assembly had called on Israel to end its occupation of Arab territory.  The occupation of al-Quds al-Sharif and the Syrian Golan had no legal validity and were, thus, null and void.  Israel’s unilateral decisions to annex Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan had been rejected.  Moreover, Israel’s illegal settlement policy on the pretext of “natural growth” was unjustifiable and contravened both international law and United Nations resolutions.


That policy tried to impose a “fait accompli” in an effort to improve Israel’s position on final status issues.  Further, he said the “scorched land” policy and construction of separatist wall flagrantly violated international law.  Bahrain called on Israel to pull out completely from the occupied Syrian Golan to 1967 borders, in line with resolution 497.  On Lebanon, he called for Israel to desist from its land and air space violations, carry out resolution 1701 (2006) and fully withdraw from Lebanese territory, including the Shebaa Farms.  There was a need to respect Lebanon’s territorial integrity.


LIBRAN N. CABACTULAN ( Philippines) said the situation in the Middle East could not be overlooked in today’s interdependent world, even by countries as distant as his own, which had millions of its citizens working in the region.  The tension and conflict, if not resolved, could adversely affect the world, given the region’s strategic importance in terms of energy resources, historic alliances and both cultural and religious influences.  His Government was a strong supporter of the Middle East peace process and was set to contribute to it in any way.  The Philippines had joined the “global clamour” for the creation of a Palestinian homeland and saw merit in the two-State solution.  It also viewed the outcome of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which reaffirmed the proposed creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, as a significant contribution to the peace process.


The Secretary-General and three depository States of the Treaty should move “with dispatch” to implement actions expected of them at that conference, he stressed.  Another element of laying the foundation for peace rested in regional countries’ commitment to respect each others’ right to exist, live free from the threat of destruction and in peace with their neighbours.  Through such confidence-building measures, the groundwork for a peaceful and stable Middle East could be laid.


Such efforts presented enormous challenges, but if nothing was done quickly, countries were bound to repeat the cycle of conflict and strife that would destabilize the world.  A change in thinking and attitude was needed.  He said the 2012 conference on the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East presented a rare chance to show goodwill and he strongly encouraged regional countries and the depository States of the 1995 Middle East Resolution to participate and strive for a meaningful outcome.


VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said this past year had demonstrated that if chronic mutual distrust was not dealt with, “then we will be faced with a situation where hopes for peace in the Middle East region will shrink.”  As a member of the Quartet of diplomatic negotiators for the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Russian Federation was attempting to overcome that situation.  It was important that all parties exercise restraint and not engage in violence; it was perfectly clear that unilateral actions undermined attempts by negotiators to find a two-State solution.  He categorically rejected Israel’s settlement policy, emphasizing that the key to establishing the right climate for negotiations would be implementing a moratorium on settlements which was not burdened by artificial timeframes.  He also called for more effort to lift the blockade on Gaza.


The international community must also help the Palestinian Authority as it tried to bolster its police force and increase security, he said.  The question of Palestinian unity was also crucial and key to making progress in negotiations.  That was a difficult situation, he said, and the international community must become more involved.  The Quartet could certainly be helpful and had proven its value.  The proposal for a Moscow conference on the Middle East was still on the table — international mediators must now prompt Israel and Palestinian sides to resume dialogue.  Achieving that would help to stabilize the region.


TAHIR ANDRABI (Pakistan) said the resumption of direct Israel-Palestine negotiations in September this year had rekindled hopes for a sustainable peace in the Middle East and permanent political settlement.  “But I fear our hopes and optimism appear to be short-lived as the window of opportunity for meaningful and sustained negotiations is once again closing,” he said, adding that the major hurdle for a long-term political process was Israel’s ongoing settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory.  The settlements were a “major provocation” that violated international law and undermined negotiations.  Any meaningful negotiation process must run parallel with improvement in lives of Palestinians who lived under checkpoints, roadblocks, military siege and separation walls.


Recent measures to ease restrictions on movement in the West Bank and improve Gaza access offered some hope, but they must be sustained by a deeper political commitment to human rights, freedom of movement and unrestricted flow of commerce.  He called on the international community to increase assistance to the Palestinian Authority; an economic boom and entrepreneurship could be a solid edifice for Palestinian statehood, promising lasting peace if it was complemented by generous development assistance.  But lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict could not be achieved without Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and all other occupied Arab territories, including Syrian Golan and South Lebanon.  “We also look forward to substantive and objective investigations by the Secretary General’s Panel of Inquiry on the Freedom Flotilla-incident of 31 May 2010.  The Panel must diligently pursue the matter.  Justice must prevail and those affected must be duly compensated,” he said.


PAUL SEGER ( Switzerland) said the settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory violated international law and undermined peace negotiations.  He called on Israel “to immediately cease all illegal activities and to comply with its international obligations”, saying it was imperative negotiations be promptly resumed to give priority to finding mutually acceptable arrangements on borders and security.  “The Geneva Initiative offers solutions in these two areas which fully respect the interests of Israel and the future Palestinian State we call for,” he said.  But restoration of Palestinian unity was essential to successfully complete the peace process and reconstruct Gaza; the heart of a reconciliation agreement must be the establishment of an electoral calendar.


Israel’s restrictions on movement of people and goods in Gaza were clearly disproportionate to the military advantage sought, and were therefore illegal — other solutions existed to preserve Israel’s security.  All stakeholders must work to implement Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009) as soon as possible.  “To help improve the situation, in June we proposed an access regime which meets both the needs of the civilian population in Gaza and the security needs of Israel.  This regime can be adapted for access by sea,” he said.  The deterioration of Gaza exacerbated the risk of violence and serious violations of international humanitarian law, he added.  Finally, Switzerland wished to express concern over rising tension in Lebanon.  The Special Tribunal for Lebanon contributed to justice, which could be harmonized with stability, he added.


NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) stated that, despite the serious efforts of the international community — including the Quartet and States sponsoring the peace process — the intransigence of Israel had precluded the achievement of any tangible progress to date.  It was clear that “military occupation” was the main reason for the problems facing the region, said the delegate, and was the worst violation of human rights on the pretext of combating violence and terrorism.  While Israeli authorities perpetrated human rights violations inside the so-called “green line”, the use of excessive military force was in fact null and void.  Solving the question of Palestine would come only from the two States living side by side, said the representative.  The illegal construction of settlements around East Jerusalem — which Israel justified as so-called “natural growth” — continued to hinder attempts at peace.  Qatar rejected that justification, stating that the growth in question was not natural, but in fact was encouraged by the Israeli Government.


Further, the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory and the annexation of the Syrian Golan were also illegal, he said.  It was necessary for Israel to withdraw from those territories, in accordance with Security Council resolution 497 (1981), which considered the decision to annex the Syrian Golan null and void.  It was also necessary to respect Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), against which Israel’s occupation of Lebanon ran contrary.  Additionally, it was necessary to ensure the achievement of peace to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.  As for East Jerusalem, Qatar rejected attempts by Israel to alter the Arab character of the city, in particular by evicting populations, threatening Christian and Arab identities, and other actions.  The achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace could only be based on the principle of land for peace, as well as in accordance with relevant international agreements.  Finally Qatar stressed the need to include all categories of Palestinian people in the achievement of a peace solution, and said that Palestinians must work toward unity in that respect.


ERTUĞRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) said his country welcomed the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority back in September, but had been deeply concerned that no tangible progress had been possible.  Too much time, energy and political capital had been invested in the process to let it fail now, but good faith negotiations could not realistically continue as long as the “rampant illegal settlement activity continued unchecked”, potentially undermining the whole notion of a two-State solution.  “The patience and the will of the international community on this score should not be tested.  Ultimately, there will have to be consequences.  The Security Council and the Quartet cannot remain silent forever,” he said.


On the other hand, he said, all issues in the region were interlinked — that was why a comprehensive peace was necessary to ensure stability prevailed there.  He called for full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, noting especially that developments in Lebanon were crucial to peace and security in the region.  Turkey was concerned about rising tensions and — as evidenced by Prime Minister Erdoğan’s visit to Lebanon last week — would continue to work to help promote calm.  The hard-won internal peace and stability in Lebanon and the rule of law must be preserved and respected by all, he said.


Turkey continued to cooperate fully with the Panel of Inquiry on the Israeli attack on the international humanitarian aid convoy on the high seas.  After receiving the Turkish interim report, the Panel had submitted its first progress report to the Secretary-General in mid-September.  But, four months after the establishment of the Panel, Israel had yet to present its own findings.  Meanwhile, International Fact Finding Mission’s report contained “alarming findings, compelling legal arguments and striking conclusions”.  “We continue to expect Israel to live up to its responsibilities, acknowledge its mistakes and to act accordingly,” he said.


HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) stated that West Asia — or Middle East — region was of vital interest to India, being home to some 5 million Indians, as well as an important source for India’s energy needs.  India believed that the conflict in West Asia was essentially political in nature, and could not be resolved by force.  In line with its support for United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), India supported a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel.


India had supported the Arab Peace Plan, which called for the withdrawal of Israel to pre-1967 borders, along with the recognition of the State of Israel and the establishment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.  Nonetheless, he said, a genuine peace would require the resolution of other issues on the remaining tracks of the Middle East Peace Process, including the restoration of other Arab lands that remained under occupation.  Progress in the Lebanese and Syrian tracks of the peace process were important for achieving a comprehensive and durable peace in the region.


ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) urged Israel to cease all unilateral actions in the occupied West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, and most notably, settlement activities carried out by two organizations, both of which had violated international humanitarian law and relevant United Nations resolutions.  The international community should compel Israel to cease all such violations aiming at imposing a “fait accompli” and its policies that threatened peace.  He urged against any actions that undermined resumed negotiations.


Arab States had expressed their collective commitment for peace by adhering to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was the foundation for dealing with all sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He called on all parties to seize the historic chance to end the conflict and establish comprehensive peace on the basis of a two-State solution and an end to occupation in Syrian territory.  He also called on the international community to stand by Palestinians, providing them with humanitarian assistance to end their suffering, and to move immediately to ensure that Israel abided by resolution 1860 (2009) and lifted the Gaza blockade.  Jordan would spare no effort in continuing to provide support to its Palestinian brothers.


WANG MIN ( China) said that the question of Palestine was the crux of the question of the Middle East.  China had always supported the Palestinian people in their quest for the exercise of their rights, and had also supported the negotiation between the Palestinians and the Israelis based on dialogue, with the ultimate goal of two States living side by side.  The year under review had brought about a new opportunity for dialogue, and China had hoped for a positive outcome at an early date.  However the talks had been brought to a complete standstill in less than a month, which had brought about the international community’s concern.  Constructive measures should be taken and interference avoided in that regard, said the delegate.  Actions by Israel did not create the proper conditions conducive to continued peace negotiations, he said.  China hoped that Israel would completely lift the blockade against Gaza, bringing about normal and dignified livelihoods in Gaza.


He said his delegation was also concerned about the continued divisions within Palestine, and hoped that Palestinian parties would settle their differences though dialogue and consultation, creating an independent State and bringing peace and security to its people.  Progress on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks was essential to peace in the Middle East, and China fully supported those countries in the quest to recover their occupied territories.  As a permanent member of the Security Council and a major world Power, China had contributed by providing economic and humanitarian assistance in the region, and had worked hard over the years to help bring about peace between all parties.  It could continue to do so, he said.


GARY QUINLAN (Australia), quoting the Australian Foreign Minister during the Assembly’s general debate, said that “all Member States […] should welcome the prospect of both an Israeli and a Palestinian State being represented at the sixty-sixth General Assembly”.  A just and lasting peace, however, must be predicated on a two-State solution:  a viable and secure state for the Palestinians, and a peaceful and secure state for Israelis, within defined borders.  Australia was encouraged by reports that Israel was considering a further moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank, and urged it to do so.


He said Australia’s strong position remained that Israel and the Palestinians needed to meet their respective obligations under the Road Map for Middle East Peace.  Australia urged all parties to begin negotiations as soon as possible, addressing final status issues — including the status of Jerusalem and settlements.  Additionally, he called for parties not to undertake any unilateral actions which sought to predetermine the outcome of those negotiations.  Welcoming the Arab Peace Initiative as a constructive contribution towards a comprehensive peace, he also supported Israel’s sovereign right to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, and supported its right to self-defence.


Australia had stood firmly by Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of Hamas’ rocket attacks in southern Israel.  Nonetheless, however, it remained concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.  While it welcomed recent steps by Israel to ease its restrictions of goods entering the area, it said that more must be done in that respect.  Hamas’ continuing rejection of the Quartet principles and its refusal to recognize Israel was a major obstacle to peace.  Australia further called on Hamas to release unconditionally Gilad Shalit without delay.


In regard to Lebanon, Australia would remain firm in the support for the sovereignty, political independence and unity of the Lebanese state and its people.  The Special Tribunal’s independence as an international judicial instrument needed to be respected, said the delegate.  He also reiterated Australia’s call for Hizbollah to disarm, in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1559 (2004), and welcomed Israel’s in-principle announcement to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar.  It called for the full implementation by all sides of resolution 1701 (2006).


MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran), calling the Middle East the “cradle” for worshippers and freedom-loving people, said Palestine had always been the “brilliant star” in the region.  The reports on the question of Palestine, notably by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, bore witness to the unfortunate reality that the Israeli regime continued its crimes against Palestinians, attempting to make the Middle East into a platform for its expansionist policies, unsatisfied with anything less than bending the region to its will.  Such immoral behaviour came with total disregard for peoples’ will.  The Zionist history was filled with killings, use of banned weapons, nuclear weapon stockpiling, and attacks on both civilians and aid convoys in international waters.


The Israeli regime had long wished to divide the Middle East, harm brotherly relations among peoples, including those among the Lebanese, Syrians and Iranians, he said.  In Lebanon, the “sinful hand of treachery” had assassinated the former Prime Minister.  Mischievous attempts to create sectarian sensitivity were a known tactic used by occupation regimes, but they would have no effects on the friendly relations among regional countries.  The only way to solve the Palestinian issue was to admit Palestine’s sovereign right and end occupation.  Palestinians should be allowed to freely express their opinions about their future.  There had been no concrete action to bring to justice the Israeli perpetrators of crimes reported in the Goldstone Report and the question remained as to where and when the impunity for the criminals would end.  The time had come for the United Nations to prove it was effective in representing international will, rather than playing to the hands of powerful hegemonic States.  It should recognize Palestinians’ right to exercise their sovereignty and bring criminals to justice.


KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said the United Nations had been addressing the situation in the Middle East since the Organization was founded — it was not easy, but Japan believed realizing peace between Israel and its neighbours was one of the most important challenges faced today.  Israel and Palestine must abide by their obligations under previous agreements, most importantly the Road Map.  He urged Israel to freeze its settlement activities, and called on the Palestinian Authority to continue efforts to improve security, cease violence and work against incitement.  “ Japan strongly supports the State building efforts of the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad,” he said.  “We are providing approximately $100 million of assistance during this fiscal year.”


It would also continue to advance the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative to build an agro-industrial park in Jericho by the end of 2012.  Japan also supported the two-State solution defined through negotiations, based on 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, in a way that achieved peaceful co-existence.  The Palestinian refugee issue should be resolved through negotiations, and the blockade of the Gaza Strip needed to be further eased while preventing the inflow of weapons.  He went on to reaffirm Japan’s support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon and the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions; Japan also looked forward to early resumption of talks on the Lebanese and Syrian track.


Action on Drafts


Following the debate, the Assembly, by a vote of 112 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nehru, Palau, United States) and 54 abstentions, adopted the resolution on Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/65/L.14).  (See Annex I)


By a vote of 110 in favour, 9 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, United States) and 56 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted its resolution entitled Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/65/L.15).  (See Annex II)


The Assembly then adopted by a vote of 167 in favour, 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States) and 2 abstentions (Cameroon, Tonga), the resolution entitled Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (document A/65/L.16).  (See Annex III)


The Assembly, by a vote of 165 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and United States) and 4 abstentions, adopted the resolution on peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/65/L.17).  (See Annex IV)


Following that action, Japan’s representative said that his delegation’s vote should have been recorded as an abstention.


Also speaking after action, the representative of Israel said his delegation had voted against the resolution on the question of Palestine — its position had not changed because the one-sided narrative had remained the same.  The resolution was completely divorced from reality.  For example, he said the text only called on one side to make compromises, neglecting to mention security threats like the fact that 1 million Israelis lived in daily fear of rocket attacks from the Gaza strip.  Nether did the text mention Hamas’ violence.  How could a peaceful settlement be discussed in a resolution that failed to mention Gilad Shalit, who had been denied his rights and whose whereabouts were unknown?


The resolution said nothing of positive developments that had occurred over the past year.  Indeed, despite continued threat of terrorism, Israel had lifted hundreds of roadblocks in the West Bank and helped spur 9 per cent economic growth.  It ignored that as of June 2010, Israel allowed entry of all goods in Gaza except those for dual use in military purposed.  On resolutions regarding the Palestinian Rights Committee, Secretariat’s Division for Palestinian rights, and the Department of Public Information’s Special programme, he said Members States should back entities that provided real support for Palestinians rather than using United Nations bodies to politicize their agenda.  For all those reasons and others, Israel voted against the resolutions.


The representative of the United States said his country was working towards a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace and was disheartened to see unbalanced resolutions that failed to ask for the difficult steps required by both sides.  It clearly illustrated a pattern of institutional bias aimed at one Member State.  “These resolutions were wasteful and did nothing to halt the conflict, which was the goal we all seek,” he said.  The Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices should be directed towards more pressing issues like direct assistance to Palestinians.


The resolutions related to the Arab-Israeli conflict presupposed the outcome of permanent status negotiations, making it all the more difficult for parties to resolve them.  The United States was committed to working with parties to achieve Arab-Israeli peace, including a two-State solution to the conflict.  Through good faith negotiations, the Palestinian goal of an independent state along 1967 lines, and a Jewish state with secure borders, could be realized.  Those who wanted a Palestinian State should do all they could to support efforts to bring a just and lasting peace and do nothing to hinder them.


The United States saw no contradiction between support of the Palestinians and support for Israelis.  The United States had given an additional $150 million to the Palestinian Authority, for a total of $225 million for the year.  In addition, the United States was the single largest donor to UNRWA, with $237.8 million to date in 2010.  It was impossible to see how supporting the resolutions before us today contributed to a just and lasting peace, he added.


The General Assembly then adopted by a vote of 166 in favour, 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States) and 4 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Tonga) the resolution on Jerusalem (document A/65/L.18) (See Annex V).


In final action, the Assembly adopted by a vote of 118 in favour, 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States) and 52 abstentions, the resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/65/L.19) (See Annex VI).


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, Brazil’s delegate, also on behalf of Argentina on the resolution on the Syrian Golan, said her delegation had voted in favour of that text, as its focus was related to acquisition of territory by force, which was prohibited.  It was a standard of international law.  The delegations’ vote did not prejudge the content of operative paragraph 6 of that text.  She urged Israel and Syria to resume negotiations to find a lasting solution to the Syrian Golan situation, in line with resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as the formula of land for peace.


Syria’s delegate, speaking on resolutions L.18 and L.19, said the continued international support for those resolutions expressed States’ upholding of United Nations Charter principles, as well as Syria’s legitimate right to recover its territory from Israel after more than 40 years.  Indeed, voting in favour of the texts sent a clear message that aggressive policies, settlement expansion and the taking of territory by force was widely rejected, and behaviour that violated the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.  The world had spoken with one voice that comprehensive, durable peace could be achieved by going back to the principles of international legitimacy, including those just voted upon.


He said that meant the return of all occupied territories, including Syrian Golan and Jerusalem, and establishing a Palestinian State with al-Quds as its capital.  Recent provocative Israeli actions, including the so-called plebiscite on Jerusalem, were internationally deplored and illegal.  Such behaviour did not change the fact that the Golan was occupied territory.  “There is no negotiation on this,” he said, calling for Israel’s liberation of the Golan to the line of June 1967.  It was land to be returned to its original holders.


Also speaking after the vote, the representative of Iran said that his delegation, in solidarity with the Palestinians and all other peoples under occupation, voted in favour of all the resolutions on the Assembly’s agenda today.  He however wished to express his delegation’s reservations about those parts of those resolutions that could be construed as recognizing the existence of Israel.


Finally, the Permanent Observer of Palestine thanked the Assembly for the principled positions asserted by those Member States that had sponsored and co-sponsored the resolutions before the Assembly today, as well as those who voted in favour of them.  Palestine believed that the vote was a clear assertion of where the international community stood on the question of Palestine:  It gave the Palestinian people hope regarding the end of occupation.


He went on to say that while some thought that the resolutions were “one-sided”, the huge blocks and groups of States that had voted in favour of them showed clearly that no one was “pushing an agenda”.  Meanwhile, Palestine, in accepting the two-State solution and adopting the Arab Peace Initiative, had made painful concessions while the other side was not even accepting small concessions.


The resolutions before the Assembly today had significant value in that they upheld international law, he continued, and that was the biggest help that could be provided towards a serious peace process.  In closing, he asked those who felt that the United Nations was not “in the business” of upholding international law to explain that belief, and again thanked the Assembly.


ANNEX I


Vote on Palestinian Rights Committee


The draft resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/65/L.14) was adopted by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 9 against, with 54 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.


Absent:  Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu.


ANNEX II


Vote on Division for Palestinian Rights


The draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/65/L.15) was adopted by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 9 against, with 56 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu.


ANNEX III


Vote on Special Information Programme on Palestine


The draft resolution on the Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (document A/65/L.16) was adopted by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 8 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Cameroon, Tonga.


Absent:   Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Vanuatu.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Question of Palestine


The draft resolution on Peaceful settlement of the Question of Palestine (document A/65/L.17) was adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Cameroon, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Tonga.


Absent:  Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Vanuatu.


ANNEX V


Vote on Jerusalem


The draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/65/L.18) was adopted by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 6 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Tonga.


Absent:  Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Vanuatu.


ANNEX VI


Vote on Syrian Golan


The draft resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/65/L.19) was adopted by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 7 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Vanuatu.


* *** *



For information media • not an official record