Israelischer Mauerbau kommt vor UN-Tribunal, 10.12.2003 (Friedensratschlag)
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"90 Stimmen für das internationale Recht"

Israelischer Mauerbau: UN-Generalversammlung ruft den Internationalen Gerichtshof in Den Haag an

Auf Initiative der arabischen Staaten haben die Vereinten Nationen den Streit um die israelischen Sperranlagen an den Internationalen Gerichtshof verwiesen. Die UN-Vollversammlung verabschiedete am 8. Dezember eine entsprechende Resolution. Die Entscheidung fiel mit 90 zu acht Stimmen bei 74 Enthaltungen (die Länder sind weiter unten namentlich aufgeführt). Der Gerichtshof wurde aufgefordert zu prüfen, ob der Bau der Sperranlagen mit dem internationalen Recht vereinbar ist. Seine Stellungnahme ist rechtlich nicht bindend.

Der israelische UN-Botschafter Dan Gillerman bezeichnete die Abstimmung im nachhinein als einen moralischen Sieg für sein Land. Die meisten der "aufgeklärten Demokratien" hätten den Entwurf nicht unterstützt. Die meisten Ja-Stimmen seien dagegen von "zumeist tyrannischen Diktaturen, korrupten und menschenverachtenden Regimes" gekommen. Sein palästinensischer Kollege Nasser el Kidwa sprach dagegen von 90 Stimmen für das internationale Recht. Diese Staaten hätte für die Resolution gestimmt, obwohl sie unter Druck gesetzt und bedroht worden seien. Kidwa warnte vor einem Scheitern des internationalen Friedensplans, sollte Israel den Bau der Sperranlagen fortsetzen. "Für uns sind Verhandlungen bedeutungslos, ohne zuerst die Mauer zu stoppen", erklärte er. "Für uns gibt es entweder die Mauer oder die Road Map."

Die USA und Israel hatten sich gegen die Resolution ausgesprochen mit der Begründung, diese werde den Gerichtshof "politisieren" und die Bemühungen um einen Frieden behindern. Die arabischen Staaten führten an, die Einschaltung des Gerichtshofs sei der einzige Weg, um den Bau der Sperranlage zu stoppen. Israel will mit der bisher 144 Kilometer langen Absperrung nach eigenen Angaben das Eindringen palästinensischer Selbstmordattentäter verhindern. Nach Ansicht der Palästinenser kommt der Wall, der teilweise weit in das Westjordanland hineinreicht, dagegen einer Beschlagnahmung des Landes gleich. (Ein Bericht über die Statements in englischer Sprache befindet sich weiter unten.)

Vor der Abstimmung hatte der israelische Regierungschef Ariel Scharon angekündigt, mit dem Internationalen Gerichtshof zusammenarbeiten zu wollen. Israel werde deutlich machen, dass es den Zaun zu seiner Selbstverteidigung brauche, sagte Scharons Berater Raanan Gissin. In der Diskussion gehe es um das Existenzrecht Israels. So lange die Palästinenser die Infrastruktur des Terrors nicht ernsthaft bekämpften, werde der Bau weitergehen.

Das israelische Kabinett will den Verlauf der Sperranlage auf Antrag von Justizminister Josef Lapid bei der nächsten Sitzung am 15. Dezember erneut prüfen. Lapid erklärte, die bisher geplante Route sei zu lang, zu teuer, werde von den USA nicht akzeptiert und bringe die Welt gegen Israel auf.

Die UN-Vollversammlung hatte Ende Oktober in einer Resolution die Sperranlagen verurteilt und Israel zu einem Baustopp aufgefordert. Dem kam die Regierung nicht nach, wie UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan Ende November feststellte. Ursprünglich hatten die Palästinenser versucht, eine Verurteilung im Sicherheitsrat zu erreichen. Dagegen hatten die USA ihr Veto eingelegt.

Das Abstimmungsergebnis

Der Resolutionsentwurf über die illegalen israelischen Maßnahmen in den bestetzten Gebieten (Dokument A/ES-10/L.16) wurde mit 90 Für- und 8 Gegenstimmen bei 74 Enthaltungen angenommen. Die Mitglieder der Vereinten Nationen stimmten folgendermaßen ab:

Dafür: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Dagegen: Australia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States.

Enthaltung: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Nicht anwesend: Afghanistan, Angola, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tuvalu.


Die Kommentierung von israelischer Seite

Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Berichterstattung durch den Newsletter der israelischen Botschaft in Berlin. Sie enthält drei Teile:
  1. die offizielle Reaktion der israelischen Regierung (1),
  2. einen Bericht des Vorgangs und eine Problemschilderung aus israelischer Perspektive (2),
  3. eine Stellungnahme aus den USA (3).
(1) Offizielle Reaktion der israelischen Regierung auf die UN-VV Resolution vom 8. Dezember 2003

Israel verurteilt die zynische Ausnutzung der Dringlichkeitssitzung der UN-Vollversammlung, die der Wahrung des Weltfriedens und der Sicherheit dienen sollte und stattdessen zur Verfolgung der Interessen von Terror-Sympathisanten benutzt wurde.

Die Palästinenser haben sich erneut der automatischen Mehrheit bedient, die sie aufgrund der traditionellen Unterstützung der arabischen und blockfreien Staaten in der UN-Vollversammlung erhalten. Die Eingabe derartiger Resolutionen sabotiert nicht nur die Bemühungen, Bedingungen für die Wiederaufnahme des politischen Prozesses zu schaffen, sondern schadet auch der UN selbst sowie ihrer Fähigkeit, ihrer Bestimmung zur Wahrung des Friedens und der Sicherheit auf der Welt nachzukommen.

Der Zynismus der palästinensischen Vorgehensweise wird besonders deutlich angesichts der Tatsache, dass nur 90 Länder von den 191 UN-Mitgliedsstaaten, das heißt weniger als die Hälfte, dieser Resolution zustimmten - einer Resolution, die Israel, Opfer des palästinensischen Terrors, auf die Anklagebank zu setzen versucht, während Terroristen und ihre Unterstützer sich durch die automatische Mehrheit der UN geschützt fühlen können.

Die Abstimmungsergebnisse lösen auch Befürchtungen in der internationalen Gemeinschaft vor einer Politisierung des Internationalen Gerichtshofes in Den Haag aus, die dort fehl am Platze ist.

Wenn die Palästinenser ihre Engergie darauf verwenden würden, direkte und ernsthafte Verhandlungen mit Israel zu führen statt aussichtlose Eingaben in der UN-Vollversammlung vorzunehmen, dann bestünde die Möglichkeit, den Konflikt in unserer Region zu lösen.

Wenn die palästinensische Autonomiebehörde den Anforderungen des internationalen Rechtes und der Roadmap nachkommen, sowie den Terror bekämpfen und die Infrastruktur der Terrornetzwerke zerschlagen würde, dann wäre auch der Sicherheitszaun nicht notwendig.

Der Zaun dient der Selbstverteidigung und verhindert die Welle von palästinensischen Terroranschlägen gegen israelische Bürger. Der Zaun ist ein gewaltfreies temporäres Mittel, um Leben zu schützen. Seine Wirksamkeit hat sich bereits erwiesen.

(2) UN Generalversammlung votiert für Gutachten des Internationalen Gerichtshofs

Die Vollversammlung der Vereinten Nationen billigte am Montag (08.12.03) eine Resolution, die den Internationalen Gerichtshof in Den Haag ersucht, eine Gutachterfunktion bezüglich der juristischen Konsequenzen der Konstruktion des Trennungszauns durch Israel auszuüben. Neunzig Nationen votierten für den Entwurf, acht stimmten dagegen, 74 Länder enthielten sich. Die Länder der Europäischen Union enthielten sich geschlossen dem Voting, da die EU in den Verhandlungen mit den Palästinensern scheiterte, den Resolutionsentwurf nicht in der Vollversammlung einzubringen. Beobachter in der UN erklärten, dass die hohe Anzahl an demokratischen Länder, die sich der Entscheidung enthielten, einen Einfluss auf die Meinung des Gerichtshof haben könnte.

Israel verurteilte die Resolution. Ra’anan Gissin, Sprecher von Premierminister Ariel Sharon, sagte: "Dies ist ein Versuch...., das Recht des jüdischen Volkes auf einen jüdischen Staat, den es verteidigen kann, zu delegitimieren."

Sharon und Außenminister Silvan Shalom entschieden bereits vor der Entscheidung in der Vollversammlung, dass Israel mit dem Internationalen Gerichtshof kooperieren werde, sollte die Resolution verabschiedet werden. Israel werde argumentieren, dass die Entscheidung, eine Barriere zu errichten, auf dem Recht auf Selbstverteidigung basiere.

Israels UNO-Botschafter, Daniel Gillerman, sagte laut Radio Israel, der Zaun werde zu Verhandlungen führen, weil er eine Abnahme der Anzahl von israelischen Soldaten in der Westbank bedeute. Laut Bericht beschuldigte Gillerman außerdem den Vorsitzenden der palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde, Yassir Arafat, eine Situation geschaffen zu haben, die Israel dazu geführt habe, die Errichtung des Zauns als notwendig zu betrachten.

Die Vereinigten Staaten und Israel waren strikt gegen die Resolution. Sie argumentierten, dies werde den Gerichtshof "politisieren" und Anstrengungen unterwandern, ein Friedensabkommen im Nahen Osten zu erreichen. Israel besteht darauf, dass der Zaun, mit dessen Bau es letztes Jahr begann, zur Verhinderung von Selbstmordattentaten benötigt wird. Die Errichtung dient nur der Sicherheit.

Der Internationale Gerichtshof in Den Haag wurde im Jahr 1946 gegründet. Er hat zwei Funktionen: Zum Einen trifft er Entscheidungen in Konflikten zwischen zwei Staaten, die übereinstimmen, seine Autorität zu akzeptieren. Zum Anderen verkündet er auf Anfrage der UNO oder anderer internationaler Institutionen juristische Gutachten. Die Urteile haben nur beratenden Status. Sie sind für die Gruppen, die diese Entscheidungen fordern, nicht bindend. Der Internationale Gerichtshof besteht aus insgesamt 15 Richtern, darunter zwei aus arabischen Ländern. Beide arabischen Richter, aus Ägypten und Jordanien, haben sich vor der Übernahme ihrer Ämter am Internationalen Gerichtshof gegen Besatzung arabischen Landes durch Israel ausgesprochen. Der ägyptische Richter Nabil Elaraby sprach sich in einem Interview gegenüber der ägyptischen Zeitung „al-Ahram“ im August 2001 für den Transfer des politischen Konfliktes zwischen Israel und seinen arabischen Nachbarn an die Internationalen Gerichtsbarkeiten aus, da: „die UN-Justiz, in der Tat, immer auf arabischer Seite war.“

Mittlerweile entschieden am Montag (08.12.03) Minister der Shinui-Partei, bei der nächsten Kabinettsitzung zu fordern, die israelische Regierung solle den Verlauf des Zauns ändern und ihn dadurch von einem "politischen" in einen "Sicherheits"-Zaun umformen, berichtete Radio Israel. Der Vorsitzende der Shinui-Partei, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, der auch Justizminister ist, sagte, der gegenwärtige Verlauf sei zu lang und zu teuer. Außerdem platziere er 250.000 Palästinenser innerhalb von israelischem Gebiet, berichtete der Sender. Laut Bericht würde Lapids Plan eine größere Anzahl von Siedlungen außerhalb des Zauns lassen. Den Angaben von Tommy Lapid, dass 250.000 Palästinenser durch den Zaunverlauf auf der israelischen Seite leben würden, widersprach der Demographieforscher Amnon Sofer der Universität Haifa. Laut Sofer sind die Zahlen der Palästinenser, die durch Sicherheitszaun von dem Westjordanland abgetrennt würden, weit übertrieben. Sofer spricht in diesem Zusammenhang von ca. 30.000 Palästinensern, die auf der israelischen Seite des Sicherheitszauns leben würden. Als Erklärung für die Angabe überhöhter Statistiken gibt Sofer politische Überlegungen der verschiedenen Parteien als Grund an. Palästinensische Quellen in der UN sprachen sogar von über 400.000 Palästinensern, die vom Sicherheitszaun eingeschlossen werden würden. (Quelle Haaretz)

(3) US Regierung: „Wir sind nicht gegen den Zaun, sondern gegen seinen Verlauf!“

In einem Interview, ausgestrahlt am 9. Dezember 2003 in Israel, sagte der US-Botschafter in Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, dass die US-Regierung nicht gegen den Zaun als Sicherheitsmaßnahme argumentiere und dass „Israel umso weniger Opposition aus Washington hören wird, je näher der Zaun sich am Verlauf der „Grünen Linie“ von vor dem Sechs-Tage-Krieg 1967 orientiere“.

Die Bemerkungen Kurtzers folgten der Entscheidung der UN-Vollversammlung am Montag, den Internationalen Gerichtshof um die Erstellung eines Gutachtens bezüglich des Sicherheitszauns anzurufen. Die USA opponierten den Resolutionsentwurf zur Beteiligung des Internationalen Gerichtshofs und schlossen sich dem israelischen Widerstand an. Beide Länder argumentierten, dass die Involvierung des Gerichtshofes eine Politisierung dieser Institution bedeuten würde, welche die politischen Bemühungen zur Schaffung eines Friedensabkommens zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern untergraben würde.


Statements

Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir eine zusammenfassende Darstellung der Statements aus der Generalversammlung. Es hatten sich u.a. die Vertreter von Kuwait, Palästina, Israel, Malaysia (als Sprecher für die Blockfreien), Senegal, Iran (als Sprecher für die Organisation der Islamischen Konferenz), Italien (für die EU), Südafrika, Russland, Uganda, Kuba und USA zu Wort gemeldet.

MANSOUR AYYAD AL-OTAIBI (Kuwait), speaking on behalf of the Arab States and introducing the draft resolutions before the Assembly, said that the Secretary-General’s report had reaffirmed that Israel did not respect -– and had deliberately disregarded -– international resolutions, as well as the serious implications of its actions. Israel had not complied with the resolution demanding a halt in the construction of the separation wall, but had continued to confiscate Palestinian land for it.

All reports by international observers on that issue had concluded that the construction of the wall would severely harm the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians, he noted. Israel’s actions had demonstrated no genuine desire to reach a durable and comprehensive peace on the Palestinian issue. Israel must realize that its policies, aimed at perpetuating the occupation, would not enable it to attain its goals. The only way forward to a settlement was based upon respecting the relevant international resolutions and fulfilling the obligations contained in the Road Map.

NASSER AL-KIDWA, Observer for Palestine, said that the Secretary-General’s report had concluded that Israel was not in compliance with the General Assembly’s demand that it stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The request for the Secretary-General to consider the issue had come in a resolution adopted at the conclusion of the Assembly’s tenth resumed emergency special session in October. That text had also stated that once the Secretary-General’s report had been received, the Assembly might consider “further action, if necessary”.

At present, he said, such further action would be to request an advisory opinion from the ICJ about the legal consequences arising from Israel’s construction of the wall and its disregard of international law, as well as relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly. In the absence of any other specific measures to compel Israel to stop building the wall and to dismantle the existing portions, “at minimum, we must seek to affirm the legal aspects in this regard”.

He said the hope was that the move, as well as increased focus on Israel’s actions by the wider United Nations system, would put additional pressure on Israel, which might lead to its compliance with, and adherence to, the provisions of international law and the will of the international community. The draft resolution before the Assembly today made such an assessment and request, and hopefully, it would be adopted by an overwhelming majority of Member States. All law-abiding nations should support the text, as there was no credibility to the opposing argument, particularly in light of Israel’s intransigence, in flagrant challenge of Member States, to continue to forge ahead in its construction of the wall.

With regard to the expansionist conquest wall, its nature and route, the accompanying confiscation of land, the creation of closed areas and, finally, its humanitarian and socio-economic impact, he said what was happening was the enslavement of the whole Palestinian people, on their way to being confined to cantons by the Israeli fascist colonial occupier. The construction of the barrier and its impacts was the shame of the twenty-first century, which screamed for serious action to erase it. The Secretary-General’s report had made clear that the wall could not be a means of achieving security, a false excuse that had been used time and again to acquire Palestinian lands by force and to commit serious war crimes.

Continued construction of the wall also meant the end of the two-State solution to the conflict, as well as the Quartet-backed peace plan, he said. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Government had sought to sabotage all attempts to stop the violence and end the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East. For the Palestinian side, any negotiations were meaningless without first stopping the wall, which must be stopped at any cost. In the event of failure to do so, Israel should bear the consequences and the international community should accelerate the imposition of a final settlement on both parties.

DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) stressed that his present comments were without prejudice to his country’s clear position of principle that the convening of the emergency special session violated fundamental conditions of the Uniting for Peace procedure and of the United Nations Charter. Among its other failings, the current emergency special session was taking place despite the fact that the issue of requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ had not even been raised before the Security Council. The resolutions adopted by the so-called tenth emergency special session were ultra vires and constituted an abuse of the powers of the General Assembly under the Charter.

Israel did not deny that, in exercising its inherent right to self-defence against terrorism, it must act within the limits of international law, he said. However, it rejected attempts to apply that law incorrectly and selectively, to misrepresent the nature and purpose of the security fence and to ignore the context in which the country had taken action. The fence was an “Arafat Fence”; his terrorism had initiated it and made its construction inevitable. If there were no Arafat, there would be no need for a fence.

The security fence, he continued, was a temporary, proven, necessary and non-violent measure adopted to defend the Israeli people from a continuing and vicious campaign of terrorism. As long as the Palestinian leadership flouted its obligations to fight terrorism, there was no alternative to the fence. Yet, the fence was not a border and had no political significance; it did not change the legal status of the territory in any way. Israel remained committed to negotiations on the final status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and remained ready to dismantle or alter the fence in the event of a political settlement.

If built along the Green Line, the fence would not adequately prevent terrorist attacks against civilians, he added. Its route had not been determined by politics, but by a difficult and painful balance between security, humanitarian and topographical conditions. And while some had argued that it was counterproductive to the peace process, the fence would not only improve the humanitarian conditions of the majority of Palestinians by allowing for a significant reduction in Israeli forces in the West Bank, but, in reducing the capacity of Palestinian terrorists to infiltrate and carry out acts of terror, it would also help to restore calm and encourage an environment in which negotiations and the implementation of the Road Map could take place.

It was unsurprising, he said, that the report of the Secretary-General lacked fairness, balance and perspective, given that it had been prompted by a clearly one-sided resolution. The report had made virtually no mention of the terrorist campaign being waged against Israel, which the fence was specifically designed to counter. The question of whether Israeli defensive measures were permissible depended on their proportionality to the threat faced, and while determining that proportionality was a complex process, the tenor of the report seemed to be that any Israeli measure -– no matter how many innocent lives it might save or how much it might release the stranglehold of terrorists on Palestinian society -– was unacceptable if it had any impact on Palestinian lives.

That approach was troubling, he concluded. Not only did it send the message that the Palestinians would not be called upon to stop the terror, but that Israel would not be allowed to stop it either. It was also instructive to consider the Assembly’s response to other actions taken by States fighting terrorism. In past decades, certain Arab States had killed thousands in the name of fighting terrorism, yet the Assembly had remained silent. Only in the case of Israel had that silence been broken.

Once again, the resolution presented for adoption failed to reflect the reality on the ground, he said, or to help the Israeli and Palestinian peoples move closer to peaceful settlement. The request for an advisory opinion constituted a harmful, divisive, illegal and diversionary tactic, which Israel would vote against. Those delegations that cared about peace, preserving the ICJ and restoring the credibility and reputation of the United Nations should do the same.

RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that his country, which had been one of those that had called for the resumption of the emergency special session, continued to stand by its position that the Israeli expansionist wall was illegal, must be dismantled and further construction halted. Indeed, the wall, being constructed deep inside the occupied territory, departed from the 1949 Armistice Line and was a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions because, among other things, it involved the illegal, de facto annexation of massive areas of Palestinian land and resources.

He said the wall also presented a major obstacle to the implementation of the Road Map peace plan because it undermined the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. It could also trigger the end of the overall Middle East peace process, since it could potentially provoke more violence among the severely oppressed Palestinians in their desperate effort to survive under the brutal oppression of the Israeli Government.

Turning to the Secretary-General’s report, he said it made clear that Israel was not in compliance with the Assembly’s demand to end construction of the wall and that the wall itself would have a severe socio-economic and humanitarian impact on the Palestinian people. Regarding the draft resolution before the Assembly today, the Non-Aligned Movement believed that an advisory opinion from the ICJ would provide an independent and impartial pronouncement on the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of the wall. Adopting the text would send a powerful message to Israel and it would be most unfortunate and tragic if the Assembly were to fail in its responsibility to uphold justice and peace for the Palestinian people.

PAPA LOUIS FALL (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said the tenth emergency special session had been reconvened because the Government of Israel had ignored the last resolution adopted by the Assembly. That situation was reflected in the report of the Secretary-General on the separation wall, which concluded that Israel was not in compliance with the call to halt its construction. Moreover, Israel’s position -– that the construction of the wall was not prejudicial to the final settlement -– moved one to ask why that country had not built the wall parallel to the Green Line, on its own territory. The building of the wall had already adversely affected Palestinian economic development, the humanitarian situation and the already unbearable living conditions of the Palestinians.

However, chances to revitalize the political process for peace continued to exist, he said. For example, talks were continuing between certain elements of the two sides –- such as the recently published Geneva Accords developed by civil society. Israel must be brought to see that in building walls, it would not enjoy greater security. That situation would only come about through restoring Palestinian lands and negotiating with the Palestinians. The Road Map provided the way forward and, with that in mind, the Committee urged the General Assembly to support the sponsors of the draft resolution requesting an advisory opinion of the ICJ.

JAVAD ZARIF (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that Israel’s explicit contempt for the will of the international community by continuing to build the separation wall in the occupied Palestinian territory had led the Secretary-General to conclude in his report that Israel was not in compliance with the Assembly’s demand to halt construction of the barrier. In light of that conclusion, the wall must be seen in the context of Israel’s continued attempts to deprive the Palestinians of their inherent rights –- this time in the guise of security –- in contravention of international law.

Taking into consideration Israel’s settlement-building activities, the expansionist wall marked the beginning of a new phase in the plight of the Palestinian people, he said. The wall would cause direct harm to thousands of Palestinians living in dozens of villages and towns as it meant the demolition of more Palestinian homes and businesses, as well as further degradation of the environment. Thus, the magnitude of the injustice of the wall and its attendant impacts on all levels of Palestinian society was indeed alarming.

If unchecked, it would render the Palestinian people even more desperate and with even less hope for a better future, he said. With the Security Council’s failure to act on the matter, along with Israel’s flouting of the Assembly’s recent relevant decision, the ICJ was competent and best placed to provide an advisory decision on the occupying Power’s legal obligations regarding the wall’s construction.

MARCELLO SPATAFORA (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, expressed particular concern about the route marked out for the barrier in the Occupied West Bank. The envisaged departure of the barrier from the Green Line could prejudge future negotiations and make a two-State solution physically impossible to implement. The construction had already cut off thousands of Palestinians west of the fence from essential services in the West Bank and Palestinians east of the fence would lose access to land and water resources. The European Union was alarmed by the designation of land between the barrier and the Green Line as a closed military zone, a de facto change in the legal status of Palestinians living in that area that would cause them further humanitarian and economic hardship.

He said the European Union had presented resolution ES/10-13 approved by the General Assembly on 21 October, demanding that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the barrier inside the occupied Palestinian territories, including in and around East Jerusalem, which was a departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 and contradicted international law. However, the proposed request for an advisory opinion from the ICJ would not help the efforts of the two parties to re-launch a political dialogue and was, therefore, not appropriate.

The European Union remained committed to the objective of two States, living side by side in peace and security, as laid out in the Road Map, he said. It strongly condemned the suicide attacks and other acts of violence and called on all sides to refrain from any action that could further escalate tensions. Terrorist attacks against Israel had no justification whatsoever, he said, stressing that the Palestinian leadership had to demonstrate its determination in the fight against extremist violence. He reiterated the European Union’s determination to contribute, with its partners in the Quartet, to all efforts to re-launch the peace process through an early implementation of the Road Map and stressed the importance of setting up an effective third-party monitoring mechanism.

DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa) said that resolution ES-10/13, adopted by the General Assembly in October, had sent a clear message to Israel that its construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory was illegal. The question before the Assembly was whether the co-sponsors and other supporters of the resolution could summon the political will necessary to take further action within the United Nations system to address Israel’s non-compliance with that resolution.

Referring to the Secretary-General’s report, he said it informed delegations in clear and unambiguous terms that construction of the wall was ongoing and that Israel was not in compliance with the demands of the United Nations. The report made clear that construction of the wall would impair future negotiations and raised serious concerns about the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people to work, health, education and an adequate standard of living. Palestinians trapped between the Green Line and the separation wall would now have to renew short-term permits to continue living on their own land.

He said Palestinians and Israelis alike would benefit from an advisory opinion from the ICJ. There was an alternative path to the self-perpetuating and self-defeating policies of confrontation and violence. The parties could choose, instead, to re-embark on direct negotiations and to call for increased international assistance from the United Nations to monitor the implementation of any agreements they reached. The recent Geneva initiative by Palestinians and Israelis was a remarkable achievement of private citizens and demonstrated that each side could find a partner for peace and that the principle of “land for peace” continued to offer the only viable basis for a negotiated settlement of the dispute.

SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said the entire course of events had shown that it was no longer plausible for the international community to continue with “business as usual” where the Palestinian-Israeli dispute was concerned. The status quo was not in the interest of either party -- not in the interest of the desire of the Palestinian people to achieve statehood and sovereignty over their homeland, nor that of the Israeli side to ensure their national security.

Therefore, he said, the Russian Federation, as a member of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process alongside the United States, European Union and United Nations, continued to support and promote all the world body’s decisions that called for the immediate implementation of the Road Map. The Russian Federation also hoped that as efforts to actualize that plan got on track, direct Palestinian-Israeli dialogue would be restored. Along with the long-hoped-for meetings between the Sharon Government and the Palestinian leadership, the way forward under the Road Map called for action by both parties.

He said the Palestinian side must take concrete efforts to halt extremist activities, and the Israeli leadership, in turn, must implement its obligations under the plan, namely, refraining from the use of excess force and extrajudicial killings and take steps to ease the socio-economic plight of the Palestinian people. The Russian Federation supported Israel’s right to protect itself, but those actions should not be exercised by cutting off other people’s lands or by contravening international law. The Quartet’s membership had affirmed that it was not expedient to stand idly by, nor to presuppose that the worst-case scenario was inevitable. The world community must use all the powers of diplomacy. The Russian Federation and the Quartet would continue active work to achieve a Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

CHARLES W. G. WAGABA (Uganda) said his country remained a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause. It also supported the two-nation policy, whereby the States of Israel and Palestine would exist side by side in peace, within internationally recognized and secure borders. It was within that context that the conflict in the Middle East should be addressed. As a way forward, the ongoing Quartet-led Road Map –- endorsed by the Security Council on 19 November –- should be supported. The international community -– and especially the United Nations -– should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Passing resolutions to condemn one side only hardened attitudes. The United Nations should, instead, endeavour to bring the two sides together.

United Nations resolutions should not be perceived as solutions, but as viable means to find a solution, he continued. If passing resolutions did not produce the desired results, another mechanism should be found -– in this case, the solution was to be found in a settlement negotiated by both parties. For that reason, moreover, referring the issue to the ICJ would not serve the cause of peace. Going to the Court would politicize that body and would constitute “forum shopping”, given that a mechanism –- the Road Map -- already existed to deal with the situation.

ORLANDO REQUEIJO GUAL (Cuba) said the construction of the separation wall on occupied Palestinian territory was part of the lengthy history of attacks and violations of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. The Assembly itself had already considered the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by the use of force, and the international community had always refused to recognize unlawful Israeli settlements, as well as the annexation of East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan.

He said Israel had tried to present the wall as a security measure, yet it was being built on Palestinian territory and would enclose 16.6 per cent of total Palestinian land on the West Bank, thus constituting a de facto annexation. The building of the wall, settlements and roads reflected a clear territorial expansion to the detriment of the Palestinian people and raised real questions regarding Israel’s sincerity in desiring a peaceful settlement of the issue. Moreover, the “bantustanization” of Palestinian territory would prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian State, among its other negative effects.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) said today’s emergency special session did not contribute to the shared goal of implementing the Road Map, which was, indeed, the surest way to peace. The Road Map outlined the actions to be taken by both parties to achieve President George W. Bush’s two-State vision. The wider international community also envisioned such a path to peace for both sides. Referral of the issue to the ICJ risked politicization of the Court and did not advance peace efforts.

He said the United States had long opposed action by either party that prejudged final settlement status. President Bush had also expressed concerns about the effects of the security barrier and other Israeli actions on the Palestinian people. But today’s meeting and the draft under consideration undermined rather than encouraged peace and diplomacy. Indeed, it was the wrong way and the wrong time to proceed in the matter. The text was unbalanced and did not even mention the word “terrorism”. The United States would vote against the draft and urge Members not to support it.

Quelle: www.un.org


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