General Assembly Adopts Six Draft Resolutions Relating to the Palestine Question (UNRWA, Israeli Practices) – Press Release (GA/12394) (Excerpts)

SEVENTY-SIXTH SESSION, 48TH & 49TH MEETING (AM & PM)
GA/12394
9 DECEMBER 2021

Français 

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Members adopted three draft resolutions related to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), each by a recorded vote.  A text titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” was adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 10 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Rwanda, United States, Uruguay, Zambia).  By its terms, the Assembly noted with regret that the situation of Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern and the refugees continue to require assistance to meet their basic health, education and living needs.  Further by its terms, the Assembly called on all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs and commended the Agency for its provision of vital assistance as well as its role as a stabilizing factor in the region.

Members also took action on three texts related to Israeli practices and settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, adopting a draft resolution titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories” by a recorded vote of 80 in favour to 18 against, with 73 abstentions.  By the terms of that text, the Assembly demanded that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate.  It further expressed grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures, and called for the immediate cessation of all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, among other measures.

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Action on Draft Resolutions Forwarded by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization)

The Assembly then took up reports submitted by its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on…Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (document A/76/417);

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The Assembly then took up a series of draft resolutions (documents A/C.4/76/L.12-L.14) relating to “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (L.12); “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)” (L.13); and “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.14).

Prior to action on those items, the representative of Israel, speaking in explanation of position, said the deep hypocrisy and systematic bias of the resolutions before the Assembly have been acknowledged by an increasing number of delegations.  The resolutions focus on false narratives instead of recognizing the positive momentum Israel and its partners achieve every day towards peace.  Moreover, no United Nations agency should engage in a politically driven agenda.  Stressing that UNRWA’s definition of “refugees” will not contribute to a positive resolution of the issue, she added that the report before the Assembly on Israeli practices is detached from reality and should be voted against.  In recent weeks, Israeli civilians came under attack by Hamas and other terror groups, yet the United Nations chose to remain silent, resulting in deliberate failures of terror condemnation.  Instead, the Organization chooses to continue to pass resolutions exclusively condemning Israel.

The Assembly first adopted a text titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/C.4/76/L.12) by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 10 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Rwanda, United States, Uruguay, Zambia).  By its terms, the Assembly noted with regret that the situation of Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern.   The refugees continue to require assistance to meet their basic health, education and living needs.  Further, the Assembly called on all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs and commends the Agency for its provision of vital assistance as well as its role as a stabilizing factor in the region.

Taking up a draft resolution titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/C.4/76/L.13), the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Rwanda, Uruguay, Zambia).  By its terms, the Assembly expressed its grave concern about attempts to discredit UNRWA despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.  It also urged Israel to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by that country.  Moreover, the Assembly called upon Israel to cease obstructing the Agency’s movement and access as well as to cease levying taxes, extra fees and charges.

The Assembly went on to adopt a draft resolution titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/C.4/76/L.14) by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Fiji, Honduras, Kiribati, Togo, Zambia).  By the terms of that text, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps to protect Arab properties, assets and property rights in Israel.  It further called upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in implementation of the resolution.  The Assembly urged both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final-status peace negotiations.

The Assembly narrowly adopted a draft resolution titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories” (document A/C.4/76/L.7) by a recorded vote of 80 in favour to 18 against, with 73 abstentions.  By the terms of that text, the Assembly demanded that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate.  It expressed grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures and called for the immediate cessation of all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, among other measures.

Next, the Assembly took up a draft resolution titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.8), adopting it by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 23 abstentions.  By the terms of that text, the organ called upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and in particular to desist from establishing settlements.  Further, it called upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Assembly also adopted — by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Hungary, Israel, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 20 abstentions — a draft titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.9).  By its terms, the Assembly condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as violations of international humanitarian law.  It deplored Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as well as its ongoing settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, which further fragment and undermine the contiguity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  By other terms, the Assembly also condemned Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings in the neighbourhood of Wadi al-Hummus, in the village of Sur Bahir, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

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For information media. Not an official record.


2021-12-13T16:12:40-05:00

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