Unofficial English Translation
- E. President Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine
On the Occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
29 November 2022
- E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
- E. Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the General Assembly,
- E. Mr. Harold Agyeman, President of the Security Council,
- E. Mr. Cheikh Niang, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
Excellencies, dear friends,
Allow me at the outset, in my name and on behalf of the Palestinian people, to extend my thanks and gratitude to all those around the world who believe in our just and historic cause and its centrality, and to all the peoples that have expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people and supported their legitimate struggle, bearing witness to their resilience and steadfastness in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and at its heart Jerusalem, and to the struggle and suffering of our people in the refugee camps in our homeland and in exile.
We also express our gratitude to the overwhelming majority of States that have reiterated their support to the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their commitment to international law and international legitimacy. The steadfastness of our people in their land and across the world, and your unwavering solidarity with our people are what have kept the cause of Palestine alive and present despite the passage of time and the succession of generations.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Another year has passed for the Palestinian people while they are still languishing under the Israeli occupation, another year of killing, siege, arrest, forced displacement and home demolitions, another year of settlements and dismemberment of our homeland through the annexation wall, land confiscation and military checkpoints. Another year that witnessed more violence and incitement against our people and their Christian and Islamic holy sites, violence and incitement by the Israeli occupation with all its military and political components, as well as the extremist settler groups, including Israeli officials and members of the Israeli Knesset, as demonstrated by the recent Israeli elections, which is that these extremist politicians live on destroying our homeland, violating our rights and robbing our freedom. A year as described by the United Nations as the deadliest year for the Palestinian people in the West Bank since the second intifada, and daily and continuous violations against all Palestinian civilians, including children and women.
The entire world has witnessed Israel’s assassination of the Palestinian Journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, the voice of Palestine and an icon of the Arab media. She was assassinated by the Israeli occupying forces in cold blood, despite the appeals of her colleagues and the attempts to rescue her. Israeli occupying forces viciously attacked her funeral and her coffin bearers, a shameful and immoral act by any standard of human decency. This is Israel and its occupation, summarized in this crime against our people, committed over and over again, one crime that summarizes the suffering of a people for more than seven decades, one crime committed by Israel in full view of the whole world, one crime that documents its guilt and its impunity. This is the case of the Palestinian people with this Israeli occupation, which considers itself above the law. A people who endures oppression, suffering and deprivation, a people who lose their children, their land, their homes and their livelihoods, in full view of the whole world for decades, without any accountability for the Israeli occupation for all these crimes to achieve justice and provide protection for the Palestinian people, in accordance with international law.
We cannot expect the Israeli occupier, who supports colonization and settler terrorism, persists in its aggression and siege against our people, abuses our prisoners, detains our children’s bodies, destroys our homes and displaces our children, to wake up one day, and choose justice and peace. The international community must mobilize and intensify its efforts to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation and stop its crimes.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The international community, decades ago determined its vision for peace, and that vision is the two-State solution on the 1967 borders. This vision was enshrined in the resolutions of this organization. United Nations resolutions have identified the terms of reference and the basis for a settlement to the conflict, as well as the mechanisms to achieve it within a defined timeframe, including through the adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 that aims primarily at salvaging the two-State solution on the 1967 borders. These resolutions have also determined the obligations of the parties as well as the obligations of third parties not to recognize illegal unilateral actions, non-assistance to such actions, to distinguish in their dealings with Israel between the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the territory of the Israeli occupying Power, to ensure respect for international law and to provide international protection for our defenseless people. We caution the States that have established trade or diplomatic offices in Jerusalem or those which have concluded agreements with companies or education institutions operating in settlements or buy products from these settlements, that all such actions are in violation of international law and encourage the Israeli occupation authorities to persist in the commission of crimes against the Palestinian people. We tell these countries that through such actions you contribute to the suffering of our people as you help entrenching the occupation of our land and you do not contribute to the regional peace, security and stability.
The international community has long rejected Israel’s policies of colonial annexation of and settlement expansion over our land, its violation of the rights of our people, and its assaults against our Christian and Islamic holy sites. This supportive international stance needs to be accompanied by concrete measures that translate the international consensus into a reality and allow our people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, realize their freedom and independence in their land and achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region.
We have put forward alternatives and proposals in my speech to the General Assembly. The Israeli authorities are undermining the two-State solution and entrenching a reality of Apartheid, and its military forces continue to control and abuse our people, and escalate their violence and brutality against them, which we do not accept. That is why we referred the Israeli colonial system and all its violations, including against the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to the International Court of Justice.
Excellencies, dear friends,
The two-State solution cannot be left hostage to the occupier’s will, as this is considered an abandonment of this solution. Therefore, we stress on the importance of recognizing the State of Palestine and supporting its full membership to the United Nations, as an embodiment of the natural right of the Palestinian people, similar to all other peoples of the world. An international conference must be convened under the auspices of the United Nations, and governed by the international legitimacy, with the aim of ending the occupation, resolving all final status issues, and defining a package of guarantees for the implementation of what has been agreed upon within a defined timeframe, so as to achieve a just and comprehensive peace which leads to ending the occupation, realizing the freedom of the Palestinian people and their independence in their own State on the 4th of June 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.
From our side, we will spare no effort to uphold our commitments under international law, and to consecrate the rule of law and human rights, the democratic values, the freedom of expression, the empowerment of women and youth and reviving our national economy. We will pursue all this in partnership with civil society organizations and the private sector. We will continue fulfilling our obligations under international law and will continue working to unify our land and people, and to hold presidential and legislative elections as soon as they can be organized in Jerusalem, as well as to form a national unity government whereby all its components are committed to the international legitimacy. We will exert more efforts to put our Palestinian house in order and to achieve reconciliation and end the division. Here, I would like to extend our thanks to the two brotherly countries, Algeria and Egypt, for their sincere efforts to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation.
Excellencies, dear friends,
The Palestinian people will not tolerate oppression and injustice and will continue to pursue their struggle against the colonial occupation of our land and people. We will not abandon the culture of peace that is deeply rooted within us and we will continue to pursue peaceful popular resistance. We will not accept a future of walls, blockade, Apartheid, oppression, hatred and colonialism. The question of Palestine will remain the litmus test for the credibility of the international community and the effectiveness of the order it established to uphold international law, maintain international peace and security, prohibit the acquisition of territory by force and support the right of peoples to self-determination, according to the pledges it enshrined in the resolutions and international instruments it adopted. Our people do not ask for more than what international law has granted other peoples around the world but will not accept any less. The destiny and fate of our people is to live in freedom and dignity on the land of Palestine and there is no power on earth that can deny them from achieving this goal.