H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of
the Republic of Indonesia
to the United Nations
The Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine
New York, 14 October 2009
Let me begin by extending the appreciation of my delegation to you and the members of the Council for convening this pertinent and timely meeting.
We thank Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe for his briefing.
We wish also to welcome the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority, H.E. Mr. Riyad al-Maliki, and underscore the important statement he has made.
My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement delivered by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and by the representative of Syrian Arab Republic speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the OIC Group.
Indonesia appreciates the thorough, analytical, and comprehensive report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, chaired by Justice Richard Goldstone.
Indonesia is gravely concerned and dismayed over the findings of the investigation. The report describes Israel’s activities as a deliberate assault aimed at punishing, humiliating and terrorizing a civilian population, and radically diminishing its local economic capacity.
The effect is to force upon the people of Gaza Strip an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.
An excessive and disproportionate use of force, and a policy of collective punishment.
Israel has committed a variety of crimes, including war crimes, and violations of international law and international humanitarian law, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israeli military operations in Gaza from 27 December 2008 until 18 January 2009 worsen the already dire humanitarian situation therein.
Indeed, the illegal blockade and the closure of the Gaza crossings by Israeli authorities still persist. Its grave humanitarian impact on the Palestinian people hardly needs reminding. Not least, it is having damaging consequence in further sowing seeds of animosity and in further propelling the cycle of violence in the region.
In this context, my delegation would like to reaffirm, in the clearest manner possible, its outrage and strong condemnation of the military onslaught by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
We therefore commend the Fact Finding Mission for its recommendations and urge all parties concerned to pay its utmost attention to the conclusions and to follow up accordingly those recommendations.
The report of the Mission states that the Israeli’s continuing occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank constitute the fundamental factor underlying violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and that ending occupation is a prerequisite for the return of a dignified life for Palestinians, as well as development and a peaceful solution to the conflict.
We are in full agreement with such observation.
The conflict in the Middle East has indeed been ensuing for far too long. For sixty years, the Israeli illegal occupation has made the region a theater of tension and violence.
The core issues—the status of East Jerusalem, the borders of a Palestinian state, settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian refugees, security, and water resources – remain unresolved.
For many years, Indonesia has joined the international community to drawn attention to the consequences of Israeli continued illegal activity in Arab occupied territories.
We therefore support the current surge in diplomacy aimed at re-launching negotiations and jumpstart a comprehensive peace process, as featured by the ongoing efforts, particularly by the United States.
One of the core issues that require urgent attention is Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territory.
Israel’s settlement policies and practices, which have been aimed at altering the demographic composition, physical character and status of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are a blatant violation of international law. The settlement is the greatest obstacle to the establishment of a physically viable, sovereign and independent Palestinian state, and thus to the achievement of peace. It is intricately related to nearly all other final status issues.
If Israel has a genuine commitment to peace, it must stop all settlement construction, expansion and planning in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and dismantle the settlements built therein.
For these reasons, we attach primary importance to the role of the Security Council in responding to the settlement issue as it did in 1980, through its resolution 465.
The Security Council must regain its role in solving this very important issue.
We also wish to urge Palestinians, who have been involved in the reconciliation talks for many months not to relent in those efforts as facilitated by Egypt.Palestinian unity is all the more crucial in the face of the present challenges. In this regard, it is our hope that as they prepare for the holding of Palestinian Authority Presidential and Parliamentary elections in January 2010, the negotiating factions will continue to focus on the critical importance of unity among all Palestinians.
Finally, Mr. President, my delegation wishes to once again express its concern by Israel’s on-going land and air violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty in violation of Security Council resolution 1701. We call on Israel to withdraw fully from the remaining Lebanese occupied land. We wish to make a similar call for Israel’s withdrawal from occupied Syrian Golan in implementation of Security Council 242 and 338.
I thank you.
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