Delivered on 18th May 2018

Delivered by Her Excellency Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador | Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Thank you Mr, President,

Let me begin by wishing Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim Colleagues at this august Council.

On May 14th, our Palestinian brothers and sisters were once again, peacefully gathered in Gaza to voice out their sovereign right to return to their lands that Israel had occupied and denied them for decades. On that eventful day, the world witnessed massive human rights violations of untold proportions. Dozens of civilians, mostly youth were arbitrarily murdered, and over a thousand unarmed civilians were injured by the largely excessive use of force by the Israeli military.

Mr. President,

I take the floor, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Maldives, to express our sincere condolences to our brotherly Palestinian families who lost their loved ones at the superfluous, cruel and inhumane acts committed by the Israeli forces. As the High Commissioner alluded today, this use of deadly force by an occupying power, is a grave breach by Israel of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Words echoed more strongly by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, in his video message today and press statements.

The Government of Maldives strongly condemns these inhumane atrocities against unarmed Palestinians. We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinian cause; our hearts go out to our Palestinian brothers and sisters; and stand with them in spirit, in their humanity, in their right to life, and their righteousness to return to their homeland.

Mr. President,

For over seven decades, the State of Palestine has existed under Israeli occupation. Today, we are not speaking of escalating violence. Today we are talking about arbitrary killings; of the threat to life; of impunity; of the imminent need for the international community to act more persuasively and effectively; to make the perpetrators accountable; to ensure justice for the victims; to ensure the Palestinians their fundamental human rights, the right life and to live in dignity in their homeland.

The Maldives supports the call on this Council to establish an independent, international and transparent commission of inquiry to investigate the violations of international humanitarian law and the international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and the occupied Gaza Strip in the context of military assaults on civilians as of March 30th 2018, immediately.

Further, we call on the Israeli Government to fully comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including numerous UN resolutions, and we call on Israel to respect the right to peaceful protest of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

Mr. President,

In conclusion my delegation reiterates our solidarity and support to the resilient people of Palestine and to their rightful cause for self-determination.

Thank you Mr. President.