I thank you, Your Excellency, for convening and chairing today’s meeting. Your Excellency’s presence here today clearly demonstrates the importance Jordan attaches to today’s open debate.
2. I also thank the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his briefing.
3. My delegation associates itself with the statements to be delivered by Iran and Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation respectively.
4. We have all heard loud and clear the message conveyed by the Secretary-General to the Council, repeatedly, on the untenable situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory. The situation on the ground is undoubtedly moving further and further away from a two-state solution on a daily basis.
5. Over the years, we have witnessed relentless and systematic actions by the Israeli authorities to chip away the conditions for a two-state solution. This includes the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, in complete disregard of international law and the overwhelming views of the international community.
6. The escalating settlement constructions further led to demolition of Palestinian homes, forced displacement of Palestinian families, and increasing violence and provocations by Israeli settlers.
7. We have heard condemnations by the international community but no real action, including by the Security Council, to halt the emerging one-state reality. Instead, the international community continues to tackle the symptoms of the problem, such as humanitarian crisis and terrorism, since it lacks the political will to address the root causes of the problem and end the longest occupation in modern history.
8. Based on repeated failures in bilateral negotiations for the past decades to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, Malaysia believes the time has come for the international community in general, and the Security Council in particular, to lead the way to end the status quo in Occupied Palestinian Territory.
9. Prolonged foreign occupation of Palestine by way of oppression, injustice and discrimination will do nothing to safeguard Israel’s long-term security concerns. Instead, it has brought about despair, anger and extremism, with repercussions that continue to resonate far across the globe.
10. For those who insist that the only way to create a Palestinian state is through bilateral negotiations, I urge them to apply the same standard on Israel. Would the State of Israel have existed if the international community had insisted that Israel could only be created through direct bilateral negotiations with its neighbouring Arab countries? Isn’t it time for the Council to act decisively on the creation of a Palestinian State, just as the General Assembly did in 1947 to create the State of Israel?
11. One aspect of the unsustainability of the situation in Occupied Palestine Territory that Malaysia wishes to highlight is related to the gross violations of Palestinian children’s rights. About 300 Palestinian children are now being detained by the occupying forces in the West Bank, including in Occupied East Jerusalem.
12. Over the past three years, the number of child detainees has increased by 87%. Moreover, the existence of a juvenile military court in Israel, the only such court in the world, is clearly in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other provisions of international law.
13. According to the Defence for Children International, more than 700 Palestinian children are sentenced in Israeli military courts every year. Ill treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system is widespread and systematic, with nearly three out of four kids experience some form of physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. Such practice is causing widespread trauma, loss of childhoods and increasing radicalisation.
14. Malaysia condemns this unacceptable situation and calls for the release of Palestinian children detained by Israel. We urge Israel to adhere to its obligations under international law, including the Convention on the Right of the Child, to which it is a State party.
15. Malaysia welcomes the recent accession by Palestine to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Such action will go a long way to end impunity and deter war crimes and crimes against humanity by both sides.
16. Similarly, we welcome Palestine’s decisions to accede to various international and multilateral conventions and treaties. We continue to support peaceful, legal, and multilateral efforts by Palestine to be a respectable member of the international community, who abides by international law, norms and standards.
17. After last month’s poignant final briefing by the outgoing Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Mr. Robert Serry, we have seen some positive momentum among Council members to initiate concerted effort towards resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
18. Malaysia stands ready to play a constructive role in the Council to realise the two-state solution. We reiterate our longstanding support for the inalienable right of self-determination for the Palestinian people, and a just, comprehensive and final solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.
I thank you, Mr. President.