NEW YORK: The Palestinian issue will remain a major focus of Saudi Arabian foreign policy until Palestinians regain their rights and succeed in establishing a state of their own with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN said.
Abdallah Al-Mouallimi also reiterated Riyadh’s rejection and denunciation of the continuing confiscation of Palestinian homes and land by Israel, along with its violation of the sanctity of the Temple Mount and attempts to obliterate its Arab and Islamic identity.
“These aggressive Israeli measures will undermine the chances of peace,” Al-Mouallimi told the UN General Assembly in New York late on Wednesday, during a plenary meeting to discuss the Palestinian question and the situation in the wider Middle East.
“The policy of settlement building and colonial expansion carried out by the occupying Israeli authorities on Palestinian land is liable to destroy the possibility of peaceful coexistence,” he said.
“Israel’s unilateral measures will lead to a disruption of security and stability, particularly in Palestine but also in the wider Middle East.”
The plenary session took place days after the 74th anniversary of resolution 181, which was passed by the General Assembly on Nov. 29, 1947. It called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with the city of Jerusalem a separate entity to be governed by an international regime.
“More than 75 years have passed since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945,” and for more than 70 years the issue of Palestine has been on its agenda, Al-Mouallimi said. Saudi Arabia’s historical position of support for “the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including (their) right to establish their independent state, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, (in line with) the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative” remains unchanged, he added.
The Saudi envoy once again stressed the need for the international community to live up to its responsibilities and call on Israel to end its occupation of Arab land in Palestine, the Golan and Lebanon.
“It is unfortunate that the Israeli occupation authorities continue to violate the rights of the Palestinian people, and practice the most heinous forms of crimes, (including the use of) excessive force against a defenseless people,” Al-Mouallimi said.
He described Israel’s settlement expansions as “a clear violation and disregard for the international community” and called on that global community to protect the Palestinian people.
Al-Mouallimi thanked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its work, which he said is conducted “despite the dangers and difficult conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a result of the stifling measures by the occupation authorities.”
He urged UN member states to work together and provide the necessary support for the agency “to carry out its humanitarian work in the occupied territory.”
The Saudi envoy also thanked Ambassador Cheikh Niang, the Senegalese chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for its latest report on Palestine.
He assured him of the Kingdom’s backing for the report and called on member states to support and adopt a resolution drafted by Dakar, titled “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine.”