Identical letters dated 3 March 2014 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
As the Chair of the Group of Arab States for the month of March 2014, I have the honour to refer to the communiqué that was issued by the Council of the League of Arab States, convened at the level of Permanent Representatives, at its extraordinary session held in Cairo on 26 February 2014 concerning Israel’s continued incursions into and aggressions against the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and Israel’s attempts to impose its sovereignty over that mosque.
The Group of Arab States strongly condemns the racist, extremist and systematic violations that are being committed by Israel against the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and holds Israel fully responsible for its perilous encroachment on Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. The Group also cautions that any repercussions from that encroachment would threaten regional stability, give rise to violence and hatred and portend religious strife.
The Group affirms that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the territory of the State of Palestine that was occupied in 1967 and that all Israeli actions aimed at obliterating the city’s cultural, human and historical legacy and changing its demographic composition and its status are invalid under international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.
he Group also affirms that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites and is responsible for protecting and maintaining them. This in keeping with the Hashemites’ historical custodianship of those sites, a responsibility that is currently fulfilled by King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein. The Group furthermore affirms the significant decisions recently adopted by the Al-Quds Committee of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, with regard to protecting Jerusalem and supporting Jerusalemites in their steadfastness. It also affirms the importance of the role that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization plays in preserving the cultural legacy of Jerusalem.
The Group affirms that peace will never be achieved unless an independent State of Palestine is established with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that Israel’s actions are meant to thwart the peace process, undermine the efforts of the United States to facilitate negotiations and spread anarchy in the region.
The Group calls on the international community, particularly the Security Council and the Quartet, to act urgently to protect Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, including, in particular, the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque, from Israeli threats. It should also compel Israel, the occupying Power, to respect United Nations resolutions, international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and to cease its transgressions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
I should be grateful if the present letter could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 35 and 36, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Mohamed Ali Alhakim
Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations
Chair of the Group of Arab States