UAE concerned about Israeli annexation of occupied land
GENEVA // The UAE expressed concern about Israel and its confiscation of occupied Palestinian territories and illegal settlement building, state news agency Wam reports.
In an address to the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Salem Al Za’abi, UAE Permanent Representative to United Nations, said illegal and deliberate settlement construction in the occupied territories continued.
In June, it was reported that Israel planned to build more than 1,000 homes in occupied East Jerusalem and 735 in the occupied West Bank. It also unveiled several schemes to build and expand settlements in East Jerusalem, despite this being branded a war crime under international law.
According to the report by the Quartet on the Middle East, Israeli bulldozers demolished 79 houses and 22 facilities in the occupied West Bank during June and August of this year, making this year one for the largest number of demolitions – 188 so far – since 2006.
Mr Al Za’abi said the report failed to point out that Israeli settlements were built on the ruins of Palestinian homes for the benefit of entire families brought from other countries and continents to rebuild the usurped land.
He repeated the UAE’s stance, which deems Israeli settlements on the occupied Arab territories illegal and constitutes a major obstacle in the way of a lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.
He also called on all countries to demand an end to the settlement of Palestinian territories.
“A comprehensive, lasting and just peace cannot be achieved without ending the occupation of Palestinian territories and the full withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967,” said Mr Al Za’abi.
“There must be a return to negotiations without preconditions, as they are the only way for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem ... in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative backed by the UAE that it deemed worthy of support and encouragement by all peace-loving countries.”
Published: September 25, 2016 04:00 AM