New York – In follow-up of the emergency Arab Ministerial Meeting, convened on 30 April 2020, to address the looming threat of Israeli annexation of Palestinian Territory, the Arab Troika in New York, under the chairmanship of Oman and accompanied by the State of Palestine and the League of Arab States, met on May 5 with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and urged him to halt Israel’s annexation plans.
The Arab delegation emphasized the illegality of all colonization and annexation measures by Israel, the occupying Power, in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and strongly condemned Israel’s plans to annex large areas of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea area and lands on which it has illegally constructed its settlements and Wall, in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions and the Charter prohibiting the acquisition of territory by force.
They deplored Israel’s cynical exploitation of this period of global pandemic to advance these illegal plans, and underscored the international community’s broad rejection and demands for a halt to these illegal actions.
The Arab delegation stressed that Israel’s actions are severely violating the Palestinian people’s rights and destroying the viability of the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders.
They warned that, if not stopped, Israel’s illegal actions would result in a one-State reality, bringing only more conflict and suffering and impeding prospects for peace and security in the entire region.
They stressed that stopping such illegal measures and ensuring accountability are essential for salvaging the potential for a just and lasting peace. They reaffirmed the international consensus on a just solution in accordance with international law, the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative.
The delegation called on all international stakeholders, including the Quartet, to mobilize to bring a halt to these illegal policies and practices, reiterating the Arab Minister’s call for diplomatic, political and legal action, in line with international law and relevant resolutions, at the United Nations, as well as in capitals and with all concerned partners, aimed at preventing annexation. They urged the Secretary-General to continue using his authority and good offices, including as a member of the Quartet, to urgently address this matter.
The Secretary-General reiterated that settlements and annexation are illegal and that annexation would effectively end the two-State solution and close the door to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with serious consequences for the prospects for peace and security in the region.
He reiterated his call for a global ceasefire, and assured that he remains actively engaged with all partners, including Security Council members, and that his Special Representative is consulting with a view to convening to another Quartet meeting in the near future to address these critical developments.
The Arab delegation reaffirmed readiness to cooperate with these efforts and called for refocusing international action towards bringing an end to the illegal Israeli occupation and supporting the Palestinian people in realizing their inalienable rights, including to self-determination.
They underscored that an independent, sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the cornerstone of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace and security in the region.
They reiterated the call for an internationally-sponsored political process, within a defined timeframe and based on the longstanding parameters, to shepherd negotiations for the achievement of a just solution to the Palestine question, and pledged full cooperation with, and support to, the Secretary-General, all UN organs, including the Security Council, and all relevant UN agencies in fulfilling this solemn responsibility.