Press Conference by Observer for Palestine

Preview Language:   English
25-Apr-1997 00:22:45
Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine, briefs press.

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The adoption by the General Assembly of its draft resolution A/ES-10/L.1 on the illegal actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory would help achieve the requirements for peace in the Middle East, Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine told a Headquarters press conference this afternoon.

The cessation of all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine -- especially the proposed settlement at Jabal Abu Ghneim to the south of occupied East Jerusalem -- was essential to the peace process and to the achievement of common goals, he said. The peace process required Israeli compliance with the resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, respect for international law, and compliance with the obligations of the parties to the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government and the 1994 Interim Agreement.

What would happen if the Government of Israel did not comply with the demands of the Assembly resolution? a correspondent asked. Mr. Al-Kidwa said that the international community had today sent a powerful message. Today's meeting had been the first emergency special session of the Assembly in 15 years. The Assembly had rejected both Israeli policies and attempts to prevent the Security Council from protecting international peace and security.

The resolution had also created a mechanism for follow-up, he said. The Secretary-General was asked to report on implementation of the resolution within two months. If need arose, the international community could again take the matter to the Security Council with the expectation that it would act. If it failed to do so, the emergency special session could be resumed. Today's resolution had provided both a message and a mechanism. The Assembly resolution had also called, for the first time, for the cessation of all forms of assistance to illegal Israeli actions, especially with regard to settlements. Further, it recommended that States that were high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War take measures to guarantee respect for that Convention.

Several Assembly resolutions on the occupied territories had been adopted over the years, a correspondent said. Why did Mr. Al-Kidwa think that the current one would be implemented? The present resolution was unlike any other, he replied. It was unique both in its legal nature, and in its political meaning. The resolution had been adopted under a rare procedure -- an emergency special session of the General Assembly. When the international community sent that type of message, the Israeli Government should be expected to heed. If it did not, the resolution had established a mechanism for follow-up, in case of Israeli defiance.

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