9 May 2001 (A/ES-10/82-S/2001/463)


Letter sent by Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the Security Council, and the President of the General Assembly: (Response to Sharon’s Statements)

In a meeting with the press yesterday, the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Ariel Sharon, confirmed the worst fears of the Palestinian side and that of the international community. Mr. Sharon’s unyielding positions, which are reflective of his government, come from the pre-peace process era in the Middle East and signal a total disregard of international law and the effective destruction of the existing agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

In his statements to the press, Mr. Sharon claims that the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel since 1967 is "disputed" and "not occupied". He further rejects the cessation of settlement activities which can only mean, irrespective of his illogical justifications, that he does not accept the removal of these settlements as part of a final peace settlement. With regard to the negotiations between the parties, he makes the resumption of negotiations conditional upon the "total cessation of violence" and, even then, his aim would be to reach a "nonbelligerency pact" followed by a very long period before the consideration of final status issues. This is obviously an Israeli attempt to impose a perpetual transition on the Palestinian side in order to escape the final settlement covering all pending issues mandated by the existing agreements between the two sides.

Mr. Sharon also claims that Israeli-imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinian persons and goods are being exaggerated by the Palestinian side. As in the past, Mr. Sharon’s statements distort history and reveal a starkly condescending attitude towards the Palestinian people and their national rights.

The entire international community does not accept the above-mentioned positions and statements, as reflected in the United Nations resolutions regarding, inter alia, the illegal status of Israeli settlements and the status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, since 1967. We call on all members of the international community to reiterate their rejection and condemnation of such destructive positions and statements.

The Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel since 1967 remains occupied and Israeli settlements remain illegal and should be removed. Further, during negotiations all settlement activities should cease. We believe that if there is any territory of which the legal status is unclear or disputed, it is that part of the territory which was allocated to the Arab State in partition resolution 181 and which was occupied by Israeli troops in 1948. Repeated Israeli attempts to undermine Security Council resolution 242 (1967) can lead only to emphasis of the above-mentioned fact, which remains valid unless and until a final settlement is reached between the two sides.

The sad reality of Mr. Sharon’s positions and statements proves once more the urgent need for action by the international community to uphold international law, ensure respect of signed agreements and provide protection to the Palestinian civilians until the Israeli occupation is brought to an end and a final settlement is reached between the two sides.