74 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Humberto Rivero Rosario, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. of Cuba. Quaterly Open debate of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. New York, 28 October 2019.

Mr. President,

We endorse the statement delivered by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Since the last quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, far from taking steps to put an immediate and complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory; Israel has, with impunity, pushed for the expansion of the occupied settlements and threatened to annex the Palestinian territories of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These new actions are serious and alarming.

Cuba condemns the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, all illegal and colonizing policies, practices and measures, including the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, the punitive demolitions, seizures of Palestinian-owned structures by the Israeli authorities, the forced displacement of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, the blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as the increase in violence and the use of force indiscriminately and disproportionately against Palestinian civilians, in flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the International Humanitarian Law.

Of great concern is Israel's decision not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, in an open breach of the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Oslo 2 Accords and the International Law.

We call once again on the Security Council to demand an immediate end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and to Israel's aggressive policies and colonizing practices, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the said body on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, particularly resolution 2334 (2016).

It is unacceptable that the Security Council has not even condemned the escalation of violence and the tragic events that have taken place in the Gaza Strip since 30 March 2018. The repeated obstruction by the United States, complicit in Israel's occupation and aggression, is plunging this body into discredit.

The international community cannot remain silent. International peace and security must be safeguarded and compliance with international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, and with all the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and by this Council, including resolution 2334 (2016), must be demanded from Israel.

Mr. President,

We reaffirm our unrestricted support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which enables the Palestinian people to exercise the right to self-determination and to have an independent and sovereign State based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and ensures the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.

We express to the Palestinian Government and people our unwavering solidarity and support for the accession of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. We support the call once again made by the President of the State of Palestine to convene an international peace conference.

We reject the unilateral action of the government of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to establish its diplomatic representation in that city, disrespecting its historical status. We denounce the withdrawal of financial support for the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East, as well as all unilateral measures and attempts to undermine the two-State solution, which is the only viable and realistic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We reiterate the rejection of the so-called "deal of the century", drawn up by the current United States government, which does not envisage the creation of a Palestinian State, ignoring the two-State solution, which has had the historic backing of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the ICO and other international actors.

Mr. President,

We demand respect for multilateralism, an end to double standards and a halt to interference in the internal affairs of other nations, foreign aggression, illicit arms trafficking and sponsorship of terrorist groups in the region.

We reject the fabrication of pretexts and concepts to try to legitimize in this Council, the unilateral use of force and aggression against sovereign States.

We reiterate our strongest condemnation of the decision of the government of the United States to recognize the occupied Syrian Golan as a territory of Israel, which constitutes a serious and flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Law and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council, in particular resolution 497 of 1981.

This maneuver made by Washington, which violates the legitimate interests of the Syrian people and of the Arab and Islamic nations, could result in serious consequences for stability and security in the Middle East and will further increase tensions in this volatile region.

We will continue to support the demand of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to recover the Golan Heights, and we call once again for Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and from all occupied Arab territories.

We express the strongest rejection of the application of new, arbitrary and unfair unilateral coercive economic measures announced by the Government of the United States against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear programme, the increase in unilateral sanctions and the military threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran, lead to an escalation of instability in the Middle East.

We condemn the attacks on the two oil facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

We call for containment and moderation to avoid instability and conflicts in the Middle East region. We demand that this body fulfills the responsibility conferred upon it under the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Thank you very much.