Note verbale dated 22 January 2008 from the Permanent Mission of Cuba

 to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the secretariat of the

Human Rights Council

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland presents its compliments to the Human Rights Council secretariat, and has the honour to transmit herewith the Statement* issued on 17 January 2008 by the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement in New York on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in the light of the latest assaults by Israel against the Gaza Strip.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba wishes to highlight the grave concern of the Non-Aligned Movement at the worsening situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of the illegal acts of aggression by Israel, the occupying Power, and would be grateful if this letter and its annex could be circulated as an official document of the sixth special session of the Human Rights Council, which is to begin on 23 January 2008.

* Reproduced in the annex as received, in the language of submission only.


Annex

STATEMENT BY THE COORDINATING BUREAU OF THE NON-ALIGNED

MOVEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN

TERRITORY, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) condemns the recent military assaults by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of 19 Palestinians and the serious wounding of 50 other people, as well as in widespread destruction of civilian property and farmlands. The situation is of grave concern to the NAM for such illegal actions by Israel have caused the death of more than 150 Palestinian civilians, including children and women, during the past month and half.

This violent military escalation by Israel constitutes a grave breach of international law,  including humanitarian and human rights law, fuels the cycle of violence and threatens international peace and security as well as the fragile peace process between the two sides.

Moreover, such actions exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation on the ground in the Gaza Strip, where the civilian population continues to be collectively punished under a crippling siege.

NAM calls upon the international community, especially the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities and to call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease its violations and to comply with its obligations under international law and relevant United Nations resolutions as the occupying Power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

NAM expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people during this critical period and reaffirms its long-standing principled positions calling, inter alia, for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab lands occupied since 1967 and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

New York, 17 January 2008

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