May 28, 2024

Qatar reiterates condemnation of Israel’s threats to invade Rafah, calls for urgent action to prevent forced displacement of Palestinians

Qatar has reiterated, in the strongest terms, its condemnation of the Israeli attacks and threats to invade Rafah city in southern Gaza, warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city that became the last refuge for 1.5 million displaced people from the besieged Strip. It has urged urgent action to prevent the Israeli occupation forces from invading Rafah and committing genocide and implementing plans for the forced displacement of the fraternal Palestinian people from the Gaza Strip, calling for providing full protection for civilians by international law and international humanitarian law.

This came in a speech delivered by Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs HE Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater before the high-level ministerial side event on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories – Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International humanitarian law in Geneva on Monday.

Shepointed to the continuation of the Israeli aggression and the difficult conditions that the fraternal Palestinian people are currently experiencing in the Gaza Strip, which has become, as the UN Secretary-General described it, a graveyard for children. She pointed out that over the past 75 years, Israel has violated all international laws and agreements related to human rights and committed all violations and crimes against the fraternal Palestinian people.

She indicated that over these long decades, the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians did not stop, nor did its colonial and racist policies, its illegal settlement plans, its continuous violations of religious sanctities, its plans to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and change its legal and historical status, as well as arbitrary arrests and detentions, siege policies, and collective punishment.

She indicated that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip is a continuation of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and grave violations in its deliberate targeting of schools, hospitals, health centres and places of worship, its indiscriminate bombing of civilians with heavy and internationally banned weapons, and its use of starvation policies by preventing and cutting off civilians access to humanitarian aid, supplies of water, electricity, fuel, medicine, and food, and the forced displacement of more than 2.2 million people. She noted the targeting of journalists and their families, medical personnel, ambulances, humanitarian relief and medical services workers, and employees of international organizations and agencies working in the humanitarian and medical fields.

The Minister of State for International Cooperation said that the failure of the Security Council, the international community, and the international system concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights to confront the repeated crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation, of the same degree and effectiveness that was followed during violations, crimes, and wars in other places of the world, confirms the double standards and differing positions of the international community in dealing with war crimes and gross human rights violations.

She renewed the State of Qatar’s welcome of the decision issued by the International Court of Justice in the case of South Africa against Israel regarding compliance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, considering it an important step in the process of holding accountable all those responsible for genocide, war crimes, and grave violations committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

She said that Qatar urges all countries to avoid double standards and take all measures to oblige Israel to implement the temporary measures approved by the court, stop the ongoing crime of genocide in Gaza, and protect Palestinian civilians.

She noted that the continuation of impunity and the failure to ensure accountability for these crimes and violations would lead to their repetition and the commission of more of them without any deterrence or fear, which would threaten the lives of millions of people and undermine international stability, peace, and security.

The minister considered that stopping funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a very dangerous matter, warning that this step would be the beginning of a policy aimed at ending the issue of Palestinian refugees and their right to return. She added that if there are allegations against some employees, those allegations must be investigated and appropriate measures taken. However, it cannot be accepted to impose collective punishment on Palestinians and starve them because of accusations that are being investigated.

Concluding her speech, the Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed Qatar’s firm commitment to supporting the Palestinian people until they achieve all their legitimate rights, especially the right to self-determination, condemning all forms of targeting civilians and continuing its diplomatic and mediation efforts to mitigate the severity of the conflict and its disastrous humanitarian effects, reaching a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip, ensuring the arrival of humanitarian aid and the release of all prisoners and detainees, and creating the appropriate conditions to reach a two-state solution, and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.