The General Assembly this afternoon began its consideration of the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. Before the Assembly is the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the report of the Secretary-General on the Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine, the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Middle East, a draft resolution entitled Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a draft resolution on the division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, a text on the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and a text, entitled Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.
PAUL BADJI (Senegal), Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, introduced four draft resolutions before the Assembly related to the work of his Committee, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information, as well as the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine. He also noted that the international community joined the Palestinian people during this time of sorrow following the death of President Yasser Arafat, and welcomed the immediate steps taken to ensure a smooth transition of power that had been taken by the Palestinian leadership. Urging the Palestinian leadership to prepare for the election of a new President, he stressed the urgency of maintaining calm and public order, and reiterated that his Committee would support all efforts to resume political dialogue with Israel to pave the way for implementation of the Quartet’s Road Map.
Calling upon Israel to refrain from any action that could further destabilize the region –- particularly settlement activity and the construction of the separation wall –- he stressed Israel’s responsibility, as the occupying Power, to facilitate preparations for and conduct of the election, including the participation of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem. Israel must also take significant steps to improve the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians by lifting curfews and easing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.
Israeli incursions, closures and curfews had brought the Palestinian economy to the verge of collapse, he stressed, and living conditions had declined dramatically. Countless individual tragedies continued to occur, as Israel had maintained the illegal practice of extrajudicial assassinations, including in densely populated areas where innocent bystanders were often killed. Those acts were strongly condemned, as were suicide bombings against Israelis; all such acts only pushed the goal of peaceful coexistence ever farther away.
Israel continued to violate the provisions of the Quartet’s Road Map, he stressed, with settlement activity continuing at a considerable pace, and construction of the separation wall continuing apace in the West Bank. Israel continued to confiscate Palestinian land, destroy Palestinian homes and farmland and isolate Palestinian communities, despite the advisory opinion handed down by the ICJ, as well as the General Assembly’s own resolution to reconfirm that decision. The current situation required that both parties, as well as the international community, recommit to restoration of the peace dialogue, he concluded.
VICTOR CAMILLERI (Malta), Rapporteur, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, presented the report of the Committee. He said the Committee expressed concern over the failure of efforts to reawaken the peace process against the backdrop of continuing violence, tragic loss of life, and the deepening humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. It further expressed its strong opposition to the continued construction of the wall on Palestinian land and the expansion of settlements. The continuing Israeli occupation remained the core of the conflict, and a negotiated solution was urgently needed to end the occupation and enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights.
He said the Committee believed that the Road Map was the best way to achieve the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine through the establishment of two States –- Israel and Palestine –- based on the 1967 borders. The Committee welcomed the advisory opinion on the illegal construction of the separation wall issued by the International Court of Justice and the position of the Assembly in that regard. It expressed concern, however, that construction had not stopped. That would hamper efforts to resolve the conflict and render a two-State solution almost impossible. The international community must ensure that the occupying Power abide by the provisions of the Court’s opinion.
The Committee expressed appreciation for the involvement of governments, intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations system and civil society in the programme of international meetings and conferences that facilitated discussion and analysis of the various aspects of the question of Palestine. It commended civil society organizations for their efforts to uphold international legitimacy with regard to the question of Palestine through advocacy and the mobilization of public opinion, as well as for their unremitting initiatives to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. In wishing to make its contribution to the achievement of a just and lasting peace settlement and in view of the many difficulties facing the Palestinian people and the peace process, the Committee called on all States to join the endeavour and invited the Assembly to again recognize the importance of its role and reconfirm its mandate with overwhelming support.
FAROUK KADDOUMI, Observer for Palestine, said that today, the opposing forces of peace and war were being further polarized, and it was at such a juncture that the Assembly could play its role as a major supporter of freedom of all oppressed and colonized peoples. The body could also continue to be one with the forces of justice and peace, and to promote the exercise of freedom and self-determination of all peoples. Recalling the myriad peace and conciliatory efforts undertaken by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died last month in Paris at the age of 75, he said that it was in the spirit of mourning that he was addressing the Assembly. The people of Palestine were in a period of crucial transition in which all needed to stand together to re-launch a peaceful democratic State based on international legality.
Unfortunately, despite any efforts its people would undertake on their own behalf, Palestine was still suffering under brutal occupation, similar to that which had hung over South Africa, he continued. The occupation of Palestine was clearly obvious as Palestinian towns and villages were bulldozed, olive trees and groves were uprooted, and suffocating checkpoints and curfews were imposed. A dire economic crisis had been caused by the restriction of movement of Palestinian people and goods. Students did not have access to schools and some 1.2 million in Gaza lived in abject poverty, while thousands and thousands –- large numbers of women and children –- suffered in Israeli prisons.
But despite the generally bleak political and economic situation, the international community had exerted great efforts on behalf of the people of the occupied territories, he said, noting the Assembly’s recent endorsement of the International Court of Justice’s decision condemning Israel’s construction of a separation wall in Gaza and the West Bank. On the other hand, he outlined United States President George W. Bush’s position on outstanding issues between the two sides, which made it clear that Israel should retain airspace, land passages and air bases, among others, even after withdrawal. From that position, one would imagine that Israel was a weak unarmed State under constant threat. But everyone knew that that was not the case. Israel was powerful, maintained the region’s overwhelming military might and advanced weaponry, and, worst of all, was without ethical or moral constraint or human rights concerns.
Israel was always trying to put the blame of the peace process’ failure on the Palestinian side. It had been worth noting that the European Union, among others, had been expressing a firm stand on the need for a two-State solution leading to peace in the wider Middle East. Turning to the Quartet-backed Road Map peace plan, he said that its one essential flaw could undermine the realization of just peace. While the plan’s first three phases contained time-bound objectives, crucial elements in the final phase remained mysteriously open-ended. The Road Map offered no clear solution to the delineation of final borders, the status of Jerusalem, the dismantling of Jewish settlements, or the return of Palestinian refugees.
Indeed, he added, for the full implementation of the Road Map, it appeared that the Palestinian people would have to depend on the good intentions of the Israeli Government. But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, through his words and policies, had not been expressing any such good intentions.
DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) said the question of Palestine could be solved; the answer lay in mutual understanding, mutual acknowledgement and mutual respect –- in commitment to negotiations and renewal of the Road Map’s implementation. For too long, the region had been dominated by conflict due to unwillingness on the part of all to look inward, to take responsibility for their own actions. Moving forward would require directing energies against common enemies and towards common goals. Every party must take ownership of their obligations, and be as conscious of their responsibilities as their rights.
Recalling that on 29 November 1947, the General Assembly had recommended the establishment of two States –- one Jewish and one Arab –- but that the Arab world at the time had rejected that recommendation, he deplored the sad paradox by which the world body had come to commemorate that rejection. However, he continued, his country felt that the winds of change were blowing in the Middle East. Israel’s disengagement plan constituted a courageous initiative. Moreover, it could help pull the region back to negotiations by giving the Palestinian people greater control over their lives, improving the security and humanitarian situation for both peoples and working to remove terrorism from the equation. The disengagement plan constituted both a physical and a symbolic move; it signified Israel’s commitment to creating opportunities for a better future.
The coming Palestinian elections, he added, would serve as a critical opportunity and important test. His country would enable international observers to monitor the elections, and do all it could to facilitate a smooth, fair, transparent and democratic electoral process. It was to be hoped that the Palestinian people would elect a leadership to serve their interests, work towards peace and development, and push for construction of an architecture of peace and an end to terrorism.
He said both Israelis and Palestinians had suffered too long — physically, economically and psychologically. Corruption had plagued the Palestinian leadership, and the morally bankrupt strategy of terrorism had endangered both Israeli and Palestinian lives. Israel recognized that it had responsibilities, he acknowledged, and remained ready to fulfil them. However, a new Palestinian leadership must emerge to meet the needs of its population, to serve the imperatives of peace and to fulfil the expectations of the international community.
That leadership, he concluded, must end incitement in the media and in religious and education institutions, and halt the use of cultural and sporting events as rallies to encourage further terror. Most of all, the Palestinian leadership must work to eliminate terrorism, as well as the elements that fuelled it. Where the world saw opportunity, organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad -– as well as regimes such as that of Iran, which supported them –- saw only threat. They would undoubtedly attempt to undermine every effort for reconciliation; they must not be allowed to succeed. On behalf of Israel, he extended his hand to his Palestinian neighbours to work as partners in peace, facing firmly away from the acrimonious past.
DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, expressed his delegation’s solidarity with the Palestinian people in this difficult moment, and said that there was a window of opportunity open to revive the Middle East peace process. Therefore, he called on all parties to demonstrate the necessary courage and leadership to break through the present deadlock, put an end to the hostilities and re-engage in the serious political process outlined in the Road Map. He also believed that the Palestinian Authority should make a 100 per cent effort to halt terror against Israel, maintain unity, avoid provocation and undertake the necessary preparations for coordination with Israel over the Israeli disengagement plan.
At the same time, Israel should lift restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and goods, release Palestinian prisoners and/or administrative detainees, halt settlement activity and cease the construction of the separation barrier. Israel should also coordinate disengagement with the relevant Palestinian authorities. Further, while the European Union reaffirmed its commitment to High Representative Javier Solana’s short term assistance programme, it also believed that immediate action was required in three interrelated priority areas: presidential elections, improvement of the security situation and financial support to the Palestinian Authority.
He went on to say that elections played an indispensable role in the process of establishing strong democratic institutions. In that regard, the European Union stood ready to assist the Palestinian Authority financially, technically and politically. He called on Israel to facilitate smooth and orderly elections by allowing proper voter registration and movement of Palestinian politicians, legislators and other officials to prepare and hold elections. Israel must also allow presidential candidates to campaign and the Palestinians to cast their cast their votes. In addition, it must lift closures and remove roadblocks.
TAWFEEQ AHMED ALMANSOOR (Bahrain) said a sad and major event had been the loss of Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader who struggled until the last moments of his life for the cause of his people, always calling for a just and comprehensive solution, including their right to self-determination. He was a symbol of peace. The debate on Palestine had been a difficult issue for the past five decades, without a glimmer of hope to shed any light on overcoming the obstacles along the way. Israel’s intransigence had blocked all efforts and its Government had adopted a policy of rejection, believing that such policies would silence Palestinian demands.
Israel had created crisis after crisis, he said. That coupled with an unjust use of force that flew in the face of the United Nations and international legitimacy had led to more bloodshed, more use of military force and more settlements that were cancerous parts gnawing at Palestinian land. Israel believed that such a policy would lead to control of all the territories and cause desperation among the Palestinian people by forcing them to believe that whatever rights they had would be compromised by Israeli military might. That persistent Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, with worsening forms of terrorism, had been totally rejected by the entire international community, which had called on Israel to implement all resolutions and arrive at a just and lasting peace, in which both countries would respect each other, uproot hatred and get rid of the conflict that had evolved from decades of strife.
He underscored the need for an immediate and just solution, stressing that Israel must withdraw from the territory it had occupied since June 1967. The Palestinians had signed peace accords and Arab countries, including his own, had spared no efforts to push various peace initiatives forward. All those efforts, however, had been dispersed and destroyed by Israeli rejection. The Palestinian Rights Committee had concluded that Israel’s behaviour was the crux of the trouble in the region and highlighted the urgency for a negotiated settlement. Israel had also showered disdain on the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) advisory opinion and continued with the construction of the separation wall. The Road Map remained the best way to arrive at a comprehensive and just solution with the establishment of two States, based on the 1967 border and Council resolutions, including 242 and 338.
ABDULAZIZ NASSER AL-SHAMSI (United Arab Emirates) said the Israeli Government’s present policies were part of an expansionist plan begun with Israel’s establishment in 1948. Its objective aimed to consolidate the status quo of occupation; change the demographical, political and legal nature of the Palestinian territories; and mark Israel’s international borders before beginning to negotiate a final solution. That would explain the statistical information and documented facts contained in annual reports of United Nations committees and agencies. The most recent report of the Palestinian Rights Committee indicated that, during the 2003-2004 review period, the Israeli Government had continued to confiscate Palestinian lands and property and set up dozens of new settlements in most Palestinian territories, particularly in Jerusalem and adjacent areas. The consequences of ignoring the Palestine question was of serious concern, he said, adding that it had fuelled frustration and despair and increased violence among Palestinians.
The international community must find a solution for the Palestinian people, he said. The Security Council must pressure Israel to cease its constant military attacks, including collective punishment and State terrorism, against Palestinians in order to create a suitable environment for resumed peace talks. In that regard, he called for forcing Israel to withdraw from all Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and to end other illegal settlement building, including creation of the separation wall. He called upon the international community to support the Palestinian people economically and politically to ensure elections were held in January as scheduled, institutions were re-established and humanitarian and social conditions were improved. Further, he reaffirmed the fundamental principles of the Palestinian cause, as stipulated in General Assembly resolutions and consistent with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) stressed the importance of the United Nations, and its Member States, assuming its responsibilities regarding resolution of the question of Palestine. The international community must remain seized of the question until such time as all matters related thereto had been dealt with. Recalling that General Assembly resolution 273 (1949) had made the acceptance of Israel as a Member State by the United Nations conditional upon respect for the Charter, he noted that resolutions related to the right of return for Palestinian refugees had not been implemented. Instead, the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands continued to deprive Palestinians of their rights, and had led to endless, bloody conflict.
For more than 56 years, three generations of Palestinians had continued to suffer injustice, he stressed. Israel continued to commit war crimes, practice State terrorism and violate the human rights of the Palestinian people. Israel had attacked and isolated the Palestinian people; it had attacked them with bombs and targeted their leadership for assassination. The closure of checkpoints had had devastating effects upon the Palestinian economy, and the encircling and closure of villages had prevented Palestinians from leaving their homes to seek medical help or purchase medicine, and had even prevented children from returning to their homes.
Moreover, Israel continued to expand the territory under its control through construction of the separation wall, he noted, and settlement activity had been accompanied by acts of terrorism and violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians. Israel continued to flout the ICJ’s advisory opinion on the wall’s construction, and to take recourse to many other manoeuvrings aimed at ignoring the international community’s will. That situation would not lead to lasting and overall peace.
Syria, he stressed, remained committed to the establishment of an independent PalestinianState, on Palestinian land, with Al-Quds as its capital, as well as to the return of the Syrian Golan and the liberation of the remaining occupied Lebanese territories. It was time for the international community to oppose the actions of Israel, and enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said it was clear that year after year the international community was faced with the same pattern of systematic violence and abuse perpetrated by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. In deliberate violation of its obligations under international law, including the Geneva Conventions, Israel had continued with its construction of a separation barrier, building illegal settlements, raising houses and confiscating land, all seriously hindering the possibilities of an independent PalestinianState. In addition, Israel’s actions throttled what was left of Palestinian lives and livelihoods, and suffocated what remained of the Palestinian Authority. Algeria expressed its support for the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people in the face of so many years of brutal and oppressive policies, he declared.
The international community must act without delay, and redouble its efforts to create a favourable environment for the full implementation of the Road Map, he continued. It must become further involved to achieve a just and lasting solution based on relevant Security Council resolutions. Any delay would allow Israel to, among other things, build new settlements and continue its oppressive policies. In addition, implementation of Israel’s withdrawal plan must be undertaken in consultation with relevant representatives within the Palestinian Authority, particularly regarding modalities and timetable. That withdrawal must also be accompanied by the dismantling of all outpost settlements and the cessation of all settlement activities. The Assembly must respond to the aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish their own State, he said, adding that the hopes and dreams of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat were more alive than ever.
IBRAHIM ASSAF (Lebanon) recalled that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people had been determined to include the right to self-determination, the right to political independence and the right to return for Palestinian refugees. Israel continued to deny the Palestinians those inalienable rights; it continued the colonization and occupation of Palestinian territory. Moreover, Israel continued to contradict the first article of the United Nations Charter –- the right of peoples to self-determination. The State continued to refuse to submit to relevant Security Council resolutions, including 478 (1980) concerning the status of Jerusalem.
Regarding the continued construction of the separation wall, he noted that 90 per cent of the wall was being built within Palestinian territory. The International Court of Justice had found the wall’s construction to be contrary to international law, and had called upon Israel to cease construction and to deconstruct the wall. However, Israel continued to refuse to comply with that finding. In conclusion, he stressed that only through showing respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people would the question of Palestine be resolved. Israel was called upon to choose the path of peace and to return to the negotiating table in order to bring about a lasting solution, in accordance with relevant resolutions and the principle of “land for peace”.
OMAR BASHIR MOHAMED MANIS (Sudan), expressing condolences on the recent death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, said his delegation believed that the Palestinian people would draw on their unity and strength of purpose to overcome the loss of the symbol of their struggle. Still, the Palestinian tragedy — worsening security, deepening poverty, and suffocating curfews –- should compel the international community to join that struggle to overcome the dangerous designs and arrogance of Israel, and to find a just and lasting settlement of the issue. That was particularly true if the Security Council and its decisions were to remain credible and legitimate. All States concerned about peace and international legality should call upon Israel to respect international law and stand by its commitments. He added that his delegation supported the draft texts that were being considered by the Assembly on the item.
AMR ABOUL ATTA (Egypt) said a settlement to the question of Palestine could not come at the expense of the Palestinians’ right to an independent State and the right of return of Palestinian refugees. The international community could not forget Israel’s serious violations of the Road Map during the review period, including military incursions resulting in huge losses of life and property, the construction of new settlements and continued construction of the separation wall. A peaceful solution was necessary to spare future generations from the cycle of violence. He called upon Israel to end its policies of siege and closure of Palestinian areas and businesses, and to take the necessary steps to alleviate Palestinian suffering, including the release of political detainees. The Road Map, which envisaged two States, must be fully implemented.
He warned that any developments in the region, notably Israel’s proposed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, must be coordinated with the Road Map. He called for creating a corridor between the West Bank and Gaza to facilitate the free movement of Palestinians between the two areas and for international observers to monitor the situation after Israel’s withdrawal. Egypt supported creation of a political and security scheme to bring parties back to the negotiating table. The peace process would either lead to a real settlement or would fall into a slump with future generations paying the price, he said, stressing the need to ensure a successful outcome, including creation of an independent PalestinianState with East Jerusalem as its capital.
MWELWA MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) said the passing of Yasser Arafat had robbed the international community of a distinguished figure and partner in the Middle East peace process. The greatest honour the world could give Mr. Arafat would be to realize his dream of a peaceful Middle East region, with Israel and Palestine living in harmony. He reiterated his support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. In addition, he hoped that the recent diplomatic initiatives by the United States and United Kingdom for a peaceful settlement to the Middle East crisis would further strengthen the Quartet’s Road Map.
Existing initiatives should be continued, he said, stressing that now was not the time to start afresh. He welcomed the ICJ’s advisory opinion and the subsequent position of the General Assembly. He expressed concern over the continued construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank and areas near East Jerusalem, saying it served to undermine international efforts to resolve the conflict. The Road Map was the best solution to creating two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, based on 1967 borders. He hoped a settlement would be reached soon.
RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia) said he wished to reaffirm the unequivocal support of his country for the people and leadership of Palestine, and for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. On this International Day of Solidarity, he wished to reiterate his condolences to the people of Palestine on the loss of President Yasser Arafat and express regret that there had been no significant progress to find a political solution to the conflict. Instead, the harsh and inhumane policies and practices that had been adopted by the occupying Power had greatly contributed to further deterioration of the economic, social and humanitarian condition in the occupied Palestinian territories.
There had been too many deaths, injuries, destruction and indescribable suffering as a result of Israel’s excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force, which remained contrary to that country’s obligations under international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The international community must prevail upon Israel to respect its obligations. The United Nations had a duty to end the atrocities and abhorrent policies and practices employed by Israel against the Palestinian population.
The construction of the separation wall had introduced a new dimension to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he added, and could seriously endanger the prospects for peace in the region. It threatened the territorial integrity of a future PalestinianState. All States, including Israel, must respect the ICJ’s conclusion that construction of the wall ran contrary to international law. Moreover, the Quartet must play a more active and vigorous role in resuscitating and salvaging the Road Map to put the peace process back on track. Israel must demonstrate its commitment to a peaceful solution, rather than a military one. And the Palestinian Authority, with assistance from the international community, must continue efforts to reform relevant institutions and improve its security apparatus.
The question of Palestine remained high on the agenda of both the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), he added. As the Chair of the Movement, and of the Tenth OIC Summit, Malaysia had discussed the question of Palestine in several forums, including bilaterally with Quartet members at the open hearings of the ICJ and at the Special Ministerial Meeting of the OIC on the situation in the Middle East. The international community had a collective role to play in finding a solution to the Palestinian question, he concluded. The General Assembly remained the last bastion of hope for the Palestinian people and must uphold the rule of law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
SAEED AL-JOMAE (Saudi Arabia) said the reports of the Secretary-General before the Assembly had clearly revealed the brutal practices and aims of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories. Tragically, the Palestinian people lived under Apartheid-like conditions, suffering almost unimaginable horrors, their homes wrecked and their livelihoods destroyed. Those who resisted the occupation were hampered from securing livelihoods or were branded terrorists by Israeli authorities.
The only hope was the implementation of international laws and the insistence that the relevant resolutions of the Security Council were abided by. Members of the international community, and particularly the diplomatic Quartet, must intervene to ensure the aims of the Road Map peace plan. He added that Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip must be a complete and total withdrawal, and must include similar steps in the West Bank and be in line with the principles set out in the Road Map. Saudi Arabia stood by its position and would call on Israel to abide by international law and to ensure an independent Palestine with Al-Quds as its capital.
ABDULLAH M. ALSAIDI (Yemen) said that while he appreciated the efforts of the Secretariat to prepare the reports before the Assembly, nothing was needed to inform the international community of the Palestinians’ tragic plight. That was recorded daily by the international media and international organizations. Israel had succeeded in exploiting the “9/11” attacks on the United States in order to divert international attention away from expansionist policies in the occupied territories. Israel continued its illegal, inhumane practices of assassinating Palestinian leaders and activists; destroying Palestinian homes, particularly in refugee camps; destroying Palestinian infrastructure; isolating Palestinian communities from each other; and continuing construction of the separation wall.
Israel’s continued pursuit to annex the West Bank and Gaza were proof of its contradictions and lack of commitment to the Road Map. Lands acquired by force were disputed areas. Palestinian action to fight back had been labelled terrorism. Any criticism of Israeli expansionist policy had been called anti-Semitism. Israeli policies attempted to erode all efforts to bring about peace. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. Israel’s insistence to maintain forces in the West Bank clearly showed Israel’s expansionist intentions. Numerous United Nations resolutions calling for the creation of an independent PalestinianState had not produced successful results. Greater pressure on Israel, including sanctions, was needed to force Israel to comply. Israel had become a State that was above the law. The law should not be selectively applied.