Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani addressed a letter to the high-level meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, which was held today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Here is a transcript of the message: In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful, I address this letter to the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at its high-level meeting on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. I commend the efforts of the Committee and the Division of Palestinian Rights in the United Nations Secretariat to organize this important occasion, and what they are doing to support the rights of the Palestinian people. The State of Qatar was among the countries that submitted the recent draft General Assembly resolution on the Division of the Rights of the Palestinian People, which called for devoting activities this year to the commemoration of the Nakba. The State of Qatar realizes the central position of this occasion in the Palestinian cause, not only for the 14 million Palestinians whose parents and grandparents lived through that tragic event, but also for all Arabs, Muslims and free people around the world.
The catastrophic effects of the Nakba continue to this day, and millions of Palestinians suffer from it, including refugees, who still cling to their right to return to their country from which they were unjustly expelled.
It has been 75 years since the Nakba and 56 years since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that took place in 1967. Despite the resolutions issued by the United Nations since then and the international communitys consensus on the illegality of the occupation, this occupation continues and is accompanied by illegal practices, including settlement in the occupied territories, attempts to annex Palestinian lands, demolishing Palestinian property, displacing and oppressing the Palestinian people and depriving them of various rights. It is from its natural sources. In recent months, violence has increased against the defenseless Palestinian people, as well as attacks on their sanctities and restrictions on the right of Muslims and Christians to safe, free and unrestricted access to their places of worship in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the churches of occupied Jerusalem to perform their religious rituals. There is no doubt that these illegal practices constitute a denial by the authorities. The occupation of its obligations under international humanitarian law, which imposes a responsibility to guarantee the rights of worship and protect worshipers and religious sanctities, as well as constitutes a violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions.
The State of Qatar has strongly condemned the recent measures against the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, which is an extension of the policy of Judaizing Jerusalem and provoking the feelings of two billion Muslims in the world, and threatens to explode the situation. These measures also threaten to dash hopes for a two-state solution. In this regard, we once again express our strong condemnation and denunciation of any attempts to Judaize the occupied city of Jerusalem and change its Arab, Islamic and Christian identity, and we stress the need to respect the existing legal and historical situation in the Holy Mosque, in its entirety, and to respect its status as a pure place of worship for Muslims, and not to make any attempt to divide it temporally or spatially.
In view of the continued Israeli occupation and settlement and related violations of international law and international legitimacy, the State of Qatar has supported the request of the United Nations General Assembly to the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the legal effects of the Israeli occupation and settlement and measures aimed at changing the demographic composition of Jerusalem. The State of Qatar is committed to supporting the brotherly Palestinian people who adhere to their rights and have been steadfast since the Nakba, keeping the keys to their ancestral homes that were stolen from them and confident of returning to their country and land.
After seven and a half decades since the Nakba, today we renew our confidence in the justice of the Palestinian cause, and we salute the brotherly Palestinian people for their valiant steadfastness to obtain all their rights, and we affirm the firm position of the State of Qatar on the need to reach a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue in all its aspects on the basis of international law and United Nations resolutions, ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a two-state solution that includes the establishment of the independent, sovereign and viable State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and granting the Palestinian people all their inalienable rights, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
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