Thank you Mr. President, for convening this urgent and important meeting.
2. I also thank ASG Zerihoun for his briefing.
3. Malaysia is gravely concerned by the provocations and escalating violence in and around the Holy Sites of the Old City of Jerusalem. We condemn in the strongest terms any and all attempts to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Such sinister attempts are in blatant violation of numerous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
4. We strongly condemn all such acts of provocations, incitement and violence at the Holy Sites by all sides, which only fuels tensions and exacerbate the deteriorating security situation on the ground.
5. We strongly urge all parties to exercise restraint and uphold respect for the sanctity of the Holy Sites.
6. It should come as no surprise that the unresolved situation has culminated in the current outbreak of violence, death and destruction.
7. Time and again, the Council has been warned about the ticking time bombs in Occupied Palestine, as the Palestinian people grow increasingly desperate of being dehumanised, and suffer from daily humiliations, oppression and mistreatments, under the longest occupation in modern history. And yet, time and again, this Council has done nothing.
8. At the General Assembly, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People diligently reported on various atrocities and grave violations of human rights committed by the Occupying Power, year after year for the past decades, without any effective measures being taken to address the grave injustice.
9. This has further emboldened the Occupying Power to conduct itself with greater impunity and more repressive policies.
10. In the mainstream media, we only see ludicrously one-sided and hugely distorted narrative to explain the current situation – that of Palestinian terrorists trying to kill and injure as many peace-loving Israelis as possible.
11. We do not see reports of arbitrary killings and illegal targeting of children and women by the Israeli forces and the settlers; we do not read about daily humiliations and mistreatments suffered by Palestinians at the hands of the Occupying Force; we do not even hear the words ‘occupation’ and ‘self-determination’ mentioned anywhere in the mainstream media to provide the proper context; and we do not apply the same standard of human rights in Palestine and Israel as we preach elsewhere globally.
12. Is it really surprising then that the subjugated and the oppressed chose to fight the illegal Occupier for their legitimate right to freedom and self-determination, since for far too long, all other legal, political, economic, diplomatic, and media channels have been systematically and exhaustively blocked?
13. For each time a cycle of violence erupts, with countless innocent lives including women and children tragically killed, injured and traumatised, the international community, particularly the Security Council, shares the blame for allowing the situation to persist with impunity.
14. Enough is enough. In shouldering its Charter responsibility to maintain international peace and security, Malaysia wishes to unequivocally demand for UN or international protection for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
15. Such UN protection would prevent continuing massacres and gross violations of human rights in Occupied Palestine. It would also benefit Israelis by addressing their security concerns.
16. The call for UN protection, in line with international humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Conventions, would ensure accountability for all parties to the conflict and enforce or monitor adherence to international law, international human rights law, and various General Assembly and Security Council resolutions to maintain peace and security in the occupied territory.
17. Such protection has numerous precedents in UN history, including in Kosovo, East Timor, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even in Palestine itself.
18. The Council must not delay discussions on the proposal and Malaysia looks forward to work closely with the UN Secretary-General and other Council members in this regard.
19. In noting the statement by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation on the reinvigorated role of the Quartet and its expanded format, we would underscore the importance of its engagement with this Council.
20. In calling for UN protection to address the current crisis, we must not lose sight of the long-term need for a final comprehensive solution to the conflict.
21. 70 years after the failure to grant self-determination for the Palestinian people, the international community has lost any pretext for a legitimate excuse to further perpetuate Israel’s occupation.
22. Delays to address the root cause of the conflict attributed to looming elections, ineffectual Quartet meetings, and half-hearted bilateral initiatives begin to appear as façades to prolong occupation and to deny justice, dignity, and freedom to the Palestinian people.
23. Meanwhile, illegal Israeli settlements continue expanding, giving rise to questions on the sincerity of Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution. In the first half of this year alone, the number of settler homes built in the West Bank had increased by 54.8%, compared to the same period last year.
24. Against the background of decades of impunity, illegal Israeli policies and practices, and systematic dehumanisation of Palestinians, we are seeing an unacceptable increase in terrorist attacks by extremist Israeli settlers.
25. We cannot deny that the continuing occupation of Palestine and the unjust oppression of its people is a powerful rallying point worldwide, which further fuelled radicalism and extremism due to the obstruction of peaceful, legal and diplomatic means of resistance.
26. Malaysia stresses the need for the Council to act urgently in view of the deteriorating situation on the ground to address the root cause of the conflict and to finally put an end to the longest occupation in modern history.
27. If we continue to turn a blind eye to the problem, there is no doubt that we will pay a much higher price in the future, which will not be in the long-term interest of Palestine, Israel and the world.
I thank you, Mr. President.