UPDATING LIVE: General Assembly holds emergency session on Israel-Palestine crisis as President demands ‘commitment to peace’

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11:05 AM

The Assembly is now preparing to vote on the draft resolution. Before that, some countries are exercising their right to make statements before the vote, starting with Russia’s Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

He is criticizing the US saying that the resolution is complicated because it is attempting to advance Palestinian membership as far as possible, without provoking another veto from Washington on full membership.

He said Palestine deserves nothing less than full membership of the UN.

“It is the moral duty of everyone. Only fully fledged membership will allow Palestine to stand alongside other members of the Organization and enjoy the rights that this status implies,” he declared.

10:55 AM

Israel: Extra benefits for Palestine would appease terrorists

Gild Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UNsaid after Hitler’s rise to power, the Nazis sought to annihilate the Jewish people and all those they deemed sub-human, but the forces of good fought to return peace to the world, and the UN was founded to ensure that such tyranny never increases its head again.

“Today, you are doing the opposite…welcoming a terror State into its ranks,” he said.

“You have opened up the United Nations to modern-day Naziism. It makes me sick.”

The terrorist group Hamas controls Gaza and has taken over areas of the West Bank, he said, holding up a poster showing Hamas’s leader, whom he described as “a terrorist diplomat whose stated goal is Jewish genocide”.

“Today, you have a choice between weakness and fighting terror,” he said, adding that the UN is appeasing “murderous dictators” and destroying the UN Charter. “This day will go down in infamy.”

In closing, he held up a mini portable electric document shredder and inserted the cover of the UN Charter.

10:48 AM

Palestinian flag ‘flies high and proud’

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the observer State of Palestinerecounted the devastating impacts of the ongoing war in Gaza, with over 35,000 Palestinians killed, a further 80,000 injured and over two million displaced.

“No words can capture what such loss and trauma signify for Palestinians, their families, their communities and for our nation as whole,” he said.

He added that the Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the “very edge” of the Strip, “to the very brink of life” with “bombs and bullets haunting them”.

Mr. Mansour highlighted that despite the attacks and destruction, the flag of Palestine “flies high and proud” in Palestine and across the globe becoming a “symbol raised by all those who believe in freedom and its just rule”.

‘Lives cannot be restored’

“It is true that we will not disappear but the lives lost cannot be restored,” he stated.

He said people have to make a decision: stand by the right of a nation to live in freedom and dignity on its ancestral land, standing with peace and recognizing the rights of Palestinians -or they can stand on the sidelines of history.

Mr. Mansour said after holding observer status for fifty years, “we wish from all those who invoke the UN Charter to abide by the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination guaranteed by the Charter”.

“A ‘Yes’ vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any State but it is against our attempts to deprive us of our State,” he added, stating that it would be an investment in peace and empowering the forces of peace.

10:29 AM

Security Council must heed global call for Palestinian statehood: UAE

On behalf of the Arab Group, Mohamed Issa Hamad Mohamed Abushahab, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the UN, introduced the draft resolution, saying that it recommends that the Security Council reconsider Palestine’s full UN membership application.

“Today marks a defining moment,” he said.

Ambassador Mohamed Issa Abushahab of the United Arab Emirates addresses the resumed 10th Emergency Special Session meeting on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The State of Palestine has demonstrated that it deserves full membership in the international community by acceding to international treaties, adhering to the UN Charter and meeting requirements of statehood. In addition, more than 140 countries now recognize Palestine as a State, he said.

Voting for the resolution amid the ongoing conflict would support the two-State solution to the crisis, he said, adding that the Security Council must respond to the will of the international community.

Vote to take place at 11:00 AM

After speaking, the UAE Ambassador called on the Assembly to vote on the draft at 11:00 AM New York time. Members agreed to do so and afterwards will resume the debate.

10:17 AM

Middle East on course for ‘full-scale catastrophe’, warns Francis

Mr. Francis said from the podium of the Assembly Hall that the Israel-Palestine crisis was the original crisis before the world body, when it was founded in 1946.

Peace has remained elusive and today has become an untenable situation that is deteriorating “at an alarming speed” he told delegates.

General Assembly President Dennis Francis addresses the resumed 10th Emergency Special Session meeting on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

This is “bringing countless innocent victims into its deadly fold and pushing the region further to the brink of full-scale catastrophe”.

He urged the international community not to look away from the dire situation that has unfolded since the 7 October terror attacks and the ensuing Israeli devastation of Gaza.

End the scourge of war

“Today let us remember the legacy from which we hail. We stand proudly upon the shoulders of those who, many decades ago, recognized their ultimate responsibility to forge a peace that will banish the scourge and terror of war,” he said.

“I therefore call upon the membership to purposely assess the situation before us, with nothing else in mind but a commitment to peace as our utmost ambition,” he said.

He called upon the parties to the conflict, supported by nations with leverage, to urgently come to an agreement on a ceasefire to bring to an end the suffering of countless people and secure the release of all hosts.

“We must believe in the essential goodness of others”, he concluded, and in the understanding that no problem of human relations is insoluble”, calling on them to help bring lasting peace, save lives and end the violence.

10:14 AM

He’s inviting the Assembly to recognize the fact that some members are in arrests with their mandatory contributions. If you don’t pay up, you lose your vote. Those are the rules. But there are exceptions that have been made, including today.

10:12 AM

The President of the General Assembly Dennis Francis has just addressed in the resumed session on the Gaza crisis.

09:55 AM

Aid operations have come to a standstill since the start of the military’s ground operation in Rafah, with an estimated 100,000 Palestinians displaced once again, in a highly fluid situation, according to humanitarians.

UNRWA

Smoke rises above Rafah as bombardments continue.

UNRWA

The Assembly is also expected to vote on a draft resolution, co-sponsored by a group of countries, concerning the status of the Observer State of Palestine at the United Nations.

The draft resolution follows the veto cast by United States at the Security Council on 18 April, which blocked Palestine’s admission as a full UN Member State. That draft resolution, submitted by non-permanent member Algeria, had received twelve votes in favour, with Switzerland and the United Kingdom abstaining.

Draft resolution on Palestine

The draft resolution expected to be put to a vote at the 193-member General Assembly, where no nations have veto power, and is expected to “recommend” that the Security Council reconsider the matter of Palestine’s membership favorably in line with Article 4 of the UN Charter concerning membership and the advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1948.

A revised version of the draft resolution, as of Thursday evening in New York, also includes an Annex, which on an exceptional basis and without setting a precedent, lists significant changes to the State of Palestine’s status in General Assembly meetings and conferences, including its order in the list of speakers and seating arrangements.

These would not just be of symbolic importance but signal a shift in Palestine’s diplomatic heft within the entire UN system. That said, General Assembly will not grant Palestinian membership in the UN, since this requires a recommendation from the Security Council.

No voting rights

It also notes that as an Observer State, Palestine does not have the right to vote in the General Assembly or to put forward its candidature to UN organs such as the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council.

If adopted, the modalities would only apply from the start of the 79th session of the General Assembly, which gets underway in mid-September 2024.

Draft resolutions do not represent the official position of the General Assembly until they are formally adopted.

Once the resolution is voted on, the whole issue of Palestine’s status will return to the Security Council for further consideration where any effort to attain full membership is likely to be blocked again by permanent member, the US.

The majority of the General Assembly will have had their say, however, amid the continuing crisis.

Tenth Emergency Special Session

The meeting is the continuation of the tenth Emergency Special Session (tenth ESS), which last convened on December 12, 2023, against the backdrop of a worsening crisis in Gaza.

At that meeting in a resolution passed overwhelmingly, the Assembly demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all hosts.

The Assembly also decided to adjourn the session temporarily and authorized the President of the General Assembly to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.

The tenth ESS convened for the first time in April 1997, following a request from Qatar. It followed a series of Security Council and General Assembly meetings regarding the Israeli decision to build a large housing project in an area of ​​East Jerusalem.

Tags: UPDATING LIVE General Assembly holds emergency session IsraelPalestine crisis President demands commitment peace

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