Statement by Ambassador Majed Bamya, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, at the UN Security Council Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question

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December 29, 2023

Ambassador Majed S. F. Bamya said the killing of Palestinian civilians is not a collateral effect of the war, as it relies by design on mass and indiscriminate killing of civilians. Relatedly, the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is not the consequence of the war, but a tool employed by Israel to force the Palestinians out.

The famine under way is a method of war and the collapse of the health system is the result of premeditated attacks against hospitals and medical personnel.  The mass arrest, filmed humiliation and enforced disappearance and summary executions aim at terrorizing the Palestinian people as a whole.  For over 80 days, Palestinians — besieged, bombarded, displaced and starved — have been fighting for their lives.

Highlighting undeniable evidence of the criminal nature of this assault, he asked:  “What do you say on behalf of a people enduring genocide?”  The killers demand apologies from those criticizing them for their crimes and recognition from the world that they are “the most moral army in the world”.  Despite the Council calling for protection of civilians, immediate safe, unhindered and expanded humanitarian access, the delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the Gaza Strip and respect for the laws of war, Israel has reacted with disregard.  “Why are they getting away with murder at this unprecedented scale?”, he asked, noting that Israel has never been held accountable.  “That is why they steal our lives, our land, our resources, our money, our past, present and future in broad daylight,” he added.

One day the massacres will stop, he said, adding:  “But how will we get over the mass graves, the inability to bury our loved ones? […] Seeing them in plastic bags […] how will we get over 1,000 Palestinian children amputated without anaesthesia?  Can you hear their screams?  Can you hear their pain?  Can you imagine if they were your own children?”  One day the massacres will stop and Palestinians will be asked to move on, to be peaceful and grateful that this horrible chapter is over, until the next one begins.  This is the ultimate expression of double standards, the ultimate expression of racism and dehumanization of Palestinians, he asserted, noting that the other side is never asked to move on and be peaceful if Israelis are killed.

The world is discovering the true Gaza while Israel is destroying it, he said, noting that Palestinians — despite repeated assaults and a decade and a half of blockade — somehow preserved hope, built homes only to see them destroyed, and built them once more.  “That is what Israel is attacking — hope, the ability of our people to resurrect — they want to make sure that Palestinians in Gaza have no homes to return to, they want to make sure they have no life to return to, they want to make sure that life in Gaza is no longer possible,” he said.  Israel’s aim of “voluntary migration” has led to the death of 21,000 Palestinians who are faced with two options:  death or forced displacement.  He further underscored that the past three months have been the deadliest the West Bank has witnessed in decades, including for children.  “Our suffering is […] man-made, occupation-made,” he said, noting that the powerlessness of some world Powers is not inevitable.

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