Committee To Resist The
Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan
c.c. UNSCO, OCHA,
Last month the UN offices in
Palestine issued its report regarding the effects of the Wall in the light of
the latest publication of the Israeli Occupation Government’s “modifications”.
The UN’s latest report revealed various positions that compromise, and even
directly contradict, international law and the principles for self-determination
and human rights as laid out in its Charter.
– We cite the initial paragraph of the report where the UN appears to adopt the
official Israeli position regarding the motivations for the Wall:
“In June 2002, the Government
of Israel began construction of the Barrier following several suicide bombings
and attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli citizens. It maintains that the
Barrier is a temporary structure to physically separate the West Bank form
Israel to prevent such attacks on Israeli citizens.”
– The report refers to the Wall as a “barrier” reinforcing perceptions that the
UN is approving of Israeli terminology, and furthermore, buying into the myth
that this is an act of separation between the West Bank and Israel. Most
alarmingly this position contradicts the important conclusions made by the
International Court of Justice (ICJ) around the nature of the Wall. Their
insistence that it was a Wall and not a barrier came out of meticulous
discussion and research, clarified in its detailed findings.
– Even more troubling is the complete absence throughout the report of the
illegality of the Wall as determined by the ICJ decision. The UN appears to be
dealing with the Wall strictly in terms of a humanitarian issue. It makes no
mention of Israel as the Occupation Forces and neglects the fundamental
political issues pertaining to the Wall in relation to human rights, freedom,
self-determination, resisting the occupation and so on.
– The report failed to mention the people who will be isolated and affected by
the Wall in Jerusalem. We hold grave reservations about such a move and see it
as part of a wider political project to open the status of Jerusalem to dispute
in line with Israeli wishes to have Jerusalem as its capital.
– Moreover, the UN equated the status of “settlers” with the Palestinians in its
evaluation of people who will be affected by the Wall. Such a comparison between
the Palestinians and settlers is a deeply disturbing development in UN thinking.
While the report should have highlighted the illegal existence of the settlers
in the West Bank, it chose to be complicit in accepting their de-facto existence
in the West Bank by their consideration of how they will be “affected”.
– The report failed to mention in any way, Israeli
plans to isolate the Jordan Valley via the eastern Wall. While Israeli
modifications did not discuss the Jordan Valley (for obvious reasons) the
significance of the Wall within Israeli strategy for this region ought to merit
great concern in the UN.
– Nor did the report display any understanding of the way in which Israel’s
perpetual expansion in the West Bank is made possible by the de-facto impasse.
The potent signs of Israeli Occupation such as settler-only roads, industrial
and security zones, need to be seen within the context of an Apartheid system
imposed from above on the Palestinian people. The Wall forms an intrinsic part
of the Israeli “colonial project”, drawn up in the so-called “disengagement
That these so-called
“modifications” form the major impetus of the UN report, ignores the wider
implications of the Wall and its fundamental ramifications for Palestinian life
The refusal of the
Secretary-General of the UN to visit the
Wall is further evidence that the UN is failing to support the legitimate right
of the Palestinians to self-determination. By turning the significant decisions
made at the ICJ into humanitarian issues, the UN shuns its responsibilities
within its mandate, over human rights and freedom.
We are deeply concerned that
the position of the UN appears to have become entwined with the interests of the
Occupiers and their supporters in the United States.
We demand that the UN abide by
international law and work towards the destruction of the Wall and the ending of
the illegal Occupation, as it has been mandated to do. This is a crucial time
for the UN to show whether it will begin to implement the countless resolutions
passed in support of the Palestinian struggle, or whether it will provide meek
and hopeless gestures in the form of “humanitarian” assistance.
The National Committee To
Resist The Apartheid Wall
of the President Mahmoud Abbas
c.c. The Office of the Prime
Minister Ahmed Qurei
c.c. The Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs