La Russia porterà all’Onu la testimonianza di Hamid, il ragazzo icona “dell’attacco chimico di Assad”

La Russia porterà all'Onu la testimonianza di Hamid, il ragazzo icona dell'attacco chimico di Assad

Si sgretola la propaganda che ha coperto il bombardamento di Francia, Regno Unito e Siria

Nell’ospedale di Douma entra la troupe di RT ed emergono nuovi elementi sul presunto attacco “chimico” preso a pretesto da Francia, Gran Bretagna e Usa per i bombardamenti illegali della settimana scorsa di Francia, Usa e Gran Bretagna.

La troupe di RT è riuscita ad intervistare il ragazzo che nei video diventati virali prima del bombardamento si è trasformato in una delle icone del “massacro con armi chimiche di Assad”. E’ nota la propaganda “umanitaria” che serve a far tollerare quello che è umanamente non è tollerabile: le bombe. Conosciamo la storia che si ripeta dalla Jugoslavia ad oggi. Ma è incredibile come un numero sempre minore ma comunque consistente di persone possano ancora dar fede ai vari Saviano, Littizzetto, Volo e compari.

Ebbene, Hassan Diab, ragazzino di 11 anni, tremante nel video diffuso dai media mainstream dopo essere stato pubblicato dal gruppo Douma Revolution su Facebook, racconta la sua versione dei fatti di quel

L’organizzazione in questione, insieme alla controversa “Elmetti Bianchi”, è stata tra le principali fonti delle accuse contro il governo siriano. Nel tentativo di far luce sulla storia,RT ha intervistato il giovane, che è stato ritratto come una “vittima” nel filmato. Hassan Diab sostiene che era con sua madre quando sono stati invitati a correre verso l’ospedale. “Siamo stati portati fuori e ci hanno detto a tutti di andare all’ospedale. Sono stato immediatamente portato al piano superiore, e hanno iniziato a riversarmi acqua addosso”, ha ricordato il ragazzo.

“I medici hanno iniziato a filmarci qui [nell’ospedale], stavano versando acqua e facendo video”, ha aggiunto. Il padre di Hassan più tardi si è precipitato in ospedale. “Sono rimasto molto sorpreso e ho chiesto cosa fosse successo, perché gli occhi di mio figlio erano così rossi. Ho scoperto che era acqua, ma faceva freddo, avrebbe potuto ammalarsi. Ed era stato spogliato”, ha raccontato l’uomo a RT.

L’emittente russa VGTRK è stata la prima a trovare il ragazzo e suo padre e ha fatto circolare la storia. Ora, Mosca ha in programma di mostrare il video su Hassan alla prossima riunione del Consiglio di sicurezza dell’ONU. Lo ha annunciato oggi l’inviato delle Nazioni Unite in Russia, Vassily Nebenzia.

Nonostante i dubbi, la mancanza di prove, i post dei social media non confermati da nessuna autorità e la non attendibilità manifesta dei famigerati White Helmets, tre paesi hanno ritenuto di poter bombardare la Siria. La verità inizia ad emergere e l’ennesimo crimine internazionale di membri della Nato resterà impunito come quelli precedenti.

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Sorgente: La Russia porterà all’Onu la testimonianza di Hamid, il ragazzo icona “dell’attacco chimico di Assad”

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What happened at emergency UN session on Syria

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on threats to international peace and security and the situation in the Middle East April 9, 2018 in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Russia has said that it has warned the US of “grave repercussions” if it attacks Syria over claims of a chemical weapons attack.

“There was no chemical weapons attack,” said Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia during a UN Security Council meeting held on Monday.

“Through the relevant channels we already conveyed to the US that armed force under mendacious pretext against Syria – where, at the request of the legitimate government of a country, Russian troops have been deployed – could lead to grave repercussions,” he added.

He added that investigators with the global chemical weapons watchdog should travel to Syria as early as Tuesday to investigate accusations concerning the attack.

“Our military, radiological, biological, chemical unit was on site with the alleged chemical accident and it confirmed that there was no chemical substances found on the ground. There were no dead bodies found. There were no poisoned people in the hospitals. The doctors in Douma denied that there were people who came to the hospital claiming that they were under the chemical attack. The Syrian Red (Crescent) that was said to be treating people which were poisoned denied that it was ever doing that today. So what we’re saying — we are requesting the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), which said in the person of its director general that they were ready to go to Douma, to do it immediately and to see themselves what happened on the ground,” he added.

An alleged chemical attack on Saturday in the militant-held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta reportedly left dozens dead.

Damascus, in a statement released late on Saturday, strongly rejected the allegation of using chemical munitions and said that the so-called Jaish al-Islam Takfiri terrorist group, which has dominant presence in Douma, was repeating the accusations “in order to accuse the Syrian Arab army, in a blatant attempt to hinder the Army’s advance.”

US will respond to attack: Haley

During the UNSC meeting, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that Washington “will respond” to incident regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council takes action or not.

“We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” she said.

“History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria…Either way, the United States will respond,” she added.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on threats to international peace and security and the situation in the Middle East April 9, 2018 in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Syria once again denies chemical attack    

Also present at the meeting, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja’afari once again denied that Syria was involved in a alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma.

“The Syrian Arab Republic stresses once again that it does not possess any chemical weapons of any type, including chlorine, and we condemn once again the use of chemical weapons at any time anywhere and under any circumstance,” he said.

Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari addresses the United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at the U.N. headquarters in New York, US, April 9, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

“The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria announced today that military experts have carried out investigations in Douma, and these investigations suggest that there are no signs of the use of chemical weapons there. And while treating the sick that are being treated in the hospitals of Douma, Russian doctors have proven that these patients have not been subjected to any chemical substance. So what we are witnessing here is really a Hollywood scene. Thank you, Mr President,” he added.

Ja’afari further condemned an Israeli attack on a Syrian military airbase in Homs province.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the ruthless Israeli aggression that took place this morning on the airport in Homs governorate, killing and injuring a number of civilians,” he said.

Sorgente: PressTV-What happened at emergency UN session on Syria

33 gruppi per i diritti umani chiedono all’ONU di pubblicare la lista di società collegate alle colonie

MEMO. Più di 30 gruppi ed organizzazioni internazionali e palestinesi per i diritti umani hanno sollecitato l’Ufficio per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite a rendere pubblica una lista di società collegate alle colonie illegali israeliane.

In una lettera congiunta indirizzata all’Alto Commissario delle Nazioni Unite per i diritti umani, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, le organizzazioni hanno accolto con favore l’aggiornamento di gennaio da parte dell’Ufficio dell’Alto Commissario per i diritti umani (OHCHR), sul lavoro svolto per produrre un database di imprese collegate alle colonie.

I firmatari chiedono quindi all’OHCHR di “rilasciare ed elencare le compagnie che sono state debitamente vagliate e contattate, in particolare quelle che hanno respinto il mandato dell’OHCHR a tale riguardo e che non hanno risposto entro i 60 giorni previsti”.

I firmatari della lettera includono Addameer, Amnesty International, DCI-Palestina, la Federazione internazionale per i diritti umani (FIDH), gli Avvocati per i diritti umani palestinesi, il Centro palestinese per i diritti umani e Trocaire.

Secondo un comunicato stampa del firmatario al-Haq, “la lettera sottolinea ulteriormente la necessità di accettare il database come meccanismo vivente che deve essere continuamente sviluppato e fornito di risorse adeguate a tale scopo”.

La lettera sottolinea che il database sarebbe un importante precedente per garantire “responsabilità per le multinazionali coinvolte in violazioni dei diritti umani in tutto il mondo e come strumento per incoraggiare ed assistere gli Stati nel far sì che le compagnie all’interno della loro giurisdizione rispettino i principi guida delle Nazioni Unite sui diritti umani, diritti umani internazionali e diritto umanitario”.

Traduzione per InfoPal di F.H.L.

Sorgente: 33 gruppi per i diritti umani chiedono all’ONU di pubblicare la lista di società collegate alle colonie | Infopal

A proposito di Gerusalemme capitale

https://i2.wp.com/www.infopal.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/pic-1.jpg

Di Agostino Spataro. La comunità internazionale ha respinto l’improvvida decisione del presidente USA, Donald Trump, di avallare la scelta adottata dai governanti israeliani, unilateralmente e in difformità delle deliberazioni dell’Onu, di proclamare Gerusalemme capitale dello stato d’Israele.

Tale scelta viene giudicata preoccupante, inopportuna sul terreno politico e della sicurezza per le conseguenze gravissime che può determinare (che sta già determinando) fra i popoli palestinese e israeliano e gli altri della regione e, soprattutto, perché  lede lo spirito e la lettera delle diverse risoluzioni dell’ONU a riguardo, introducendo un ulteriore elemento di destabilizzazione nella martoriata regione mediorientale e mediterranea.

Bene, dunque, hanno fatto i governi europei e, fra questi anche il governo italiano e il Vaticano, a manifestare contrarietà verso tale decisione e a ribadire il rispetto per i diritti nazionali del popolo palestinese e quelli delle altre due religioni (cristiana e islamica) che considerano “luogo santo” la città di Gerusalemme.

I sottostanti materiali (estratti da una pubblicazione ufficiale delle Nazioni Unite) evidenziano, con estrema chiarezza, lo status di “corpo separato”, sotto regime internazionale speciale, della città che non può essere alterato da alcuna decisione unilaterale e al di fuori dell’ambito ONU.

Tale assunto è sempre in vigore non essendo stato mai revocato dalle Nazioni Unite.

Purtroppo, non è questa la prima volta che vengono aggirate, violate le risoluzioni in materia.

In primo luogo da Israele  che, paradossalmente- come si potrà rilevare dalla sottostante lista- può vantare un doppio primato: quello di essere il primo Stato al mondo creato dalle Nazioni Unite ed il primo nella graduatoria degli Stati che più disattendono le decisioni dell’ONU.

Come dire: il figlio che non rispetta le decisioni della madre (Onu) che lo ha generato!

Non è superfluo ricordare che l’Onu, nonostante l’indebolimento provocato dall’unilateralismo israeliano e statunitense, praticato da vari presidenti Usa (da Reagan in poi), resta l’unica fonte, universalmente riconosciuta, della legalità internazionale.

Qualsiasi governo è tenuto a osservare le sue decisioni e raccomandazioni.

Chi non le osserva si mette fuori della legalità internazionale.

A maggior ragione dovrebbe osservarle Israele, uno Stato che è figlio diretto di una decisione dell’Onu. Ma, così non è stato e non è. Soprattutto nella gestione dei suoi difficili rapporti con i popoli e gli Stati vicini (Palestinesi, Siria, Libano, Giordania).

Per chi desidera documentarsi sulle principali violazioni israeliane in materia può consultare la vasta documentazione prodotta dalle Nazioni Unite e da altri organismi internazionali.

Per agevolarne l’approccio, segnaliamo i passaggi più significativi di un documento elaborato e diffuso dall’Onu (“Le statut de Jérusalem”, New York, 1997) che ricostruisce (fino all’anno della pubblicazione) l’exursus storico e politico della questione di Gerusalemme:

Pag. 1: Un regime internazionale speciale per Gerusalemme

“L’Onu, che tende a dare una soluzione permanente al conflitto (arabo-israeliano n.d.r.), adotta nel 1947 un piano di spartizione della Palestina che prevede la divisione della Palestina in uno Stato arabo e uno Stato ebraico e la costituzione della città di Gerusalemme in corpus separatum sotto regime internazionale speciale, amministrata dal consiglio di tutela dell’Onu.” 

Pag. 2: La comunità internazionale considera nulla l’annessione della “Città santa”

“Dopo la guerra del 1967, Israele s’impadronisce di Gerusalemme – est (settore arabo n.d.r.) e dei territori palestinesi e fa sparire la linea di demarcazione fra i settori est e ovest…Israele che ha già annesso Gerusalemme – est, proclama, nel 1980, “Gerusalemme intera e riunificata la capitale d’Israele”…

“Tuttavia, la pretesa israeliana su Gerusalemme non è riconosciuta dalla comunità internazionale che condanna l’acquisizione dei territori mediante la guerra e considera come nullo e non avvenuto ogni cambiamento sul terreno”.

Pag. 9: Gli arabi disposti ad accettare il regime internazionale su Gerusalemme

“La commissione di conciliazione (di cui alla risoluzione n. 194 adottata dall’Assemblea generale dell’Onu l’11 dicembre 1948) fa sapere che le delegazioni arabe erano, nell’insieme, pronte a accettare il principio di un regime internazionale per la regione di Gerusalemme a condizione che l’Onu ne garantisse la stabilità e la permanenza. Israele, dal suo lato, riconoscendo che la Commissione è legata alla risoluzione 914 dell’Assemblea generale, dichiara che non può accettare senza riserve che i Luoghi santi siano posti sotto un regime internazionale o sottomessi a un controllo internazionale.”

Pag. 11: Gerusalemme, corpus separatum

“…l’Assemblea generale (dell’Onu ndr) riafferma le disposizioni del piano di ripartizione secondo il quale Gerusalemme sarà un corpus separatum amministrato dalle Nazioni Unite, l’Assemblea invita il Consiglio di tutela a concludere la messa a punto dello Statuto di Gerusalemme…e chiede agli Stati interessati d’impegnarsi formalmente a conformarsi alle disposizioni della risoluzione…(n. 333)”

Pag. 12: Dayan, occupa Gerusalemme

Il generale Moshe Dayan, vincitore della guerra lampo detta dei “sei giorni” dichiara il 7 giugno 1967: “le forze armate israeliane hanno liberato Gerusalemme. Noi abbiamo riunificato questa città divisa, capitale d’Israele. Siamo rivenuti nella Città santa e non ce ne andremo più”

Pag. 13: le autorità d’occupazione sciolgono il consiglio municipale di Gerusalemme est

Secondo un rapporto di M. Thalmann, (rappresentante personale del segretario generale dell’Onu per Gerusalemme) il 29 giugno 1967 un ordine della difesa militare (israeliana ndr) ha sciolto il Consiglio municipale composto di 12 membri che assicura la gestione di Gerusalemme – est sotto l’amministrazione giordana…Il Consiglio municipale di Gerusalemme – ovest, composto da 21 membri tutti israeliani, assorbe il vecchio consiglio, il personale tecnico arabo del municipio di Gerusalemme – est viene incorporato nei servizi corrispondenti della nuova amministrazione.”

Pag. 15: la Knesset proclama Gerusalemme riunificata capitale d’Israele

Il 29 luglio 1980, malgrado l’opposizione della comunità internazionale, la Knesset (parlamento israeliano ndr) adotta la “Legge fondamentale” su Gerusalemme che proclama Gerusalemme, intera e riunificata, capitale d’Israele, sede della presidenza, della Knesset, del governo e della Corte suprema.”

Pag. 20: nuove colonie ebraiche nelle terre dei palestinesi

“Si apprende che la gran parte dei beni palestinesi di Gerusalemme – est e dei dintorni è stata sottratta dalle autorità israeliane (mediante espropri e confische) in cinque tappe:

Gennaio 1968, circa 400 ettari nel quartiere Sheikh Jarrah dove vengono impiantate le prime colonie ebraiche per un totale di 20.000 persone;

Agosto 1970, circa 1.400 ettari in favore delle colonie di Ramat, Talpiot-est, Gilo e Neve Ya’acov dove vivono attualmente circa 101.000 ebrei;

Marzo 1980, circa 440 ettari destinati all’impianto della colonia di Pisgat Ze’ev destinata ad accogliere 50.000 ebrei;

Aprile 1991, circa 188 ettari per la realizzazione della colonia di Har Homa per un totale di 9.000 appartamenti;

Aprile 1992, circa 200 ettari sono destinati alla creazione della nuova colonia di Ramat Shu’fat per un totale di 2.100 nuovi appartamenti.

Pag. 27: il Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu esige il ritiro d’Israele dai territori occupati

“Nella famosa risoluzione n. 242 del 22 novembre 1967, il Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu… sottolinea l’inammissibilità dell’acquisizione di territori mediante la guerra e afferma che il rispetto dei principi della Carta delle Nazioni Unite esige il ritiro delle forze armate israeliane dai territori occupati e il rispetto della sovranità, dell’integrità e dell’indipendenza politica di ogni Stato della regione.”

Pag. 28: Israele non applica la Convenzione di Ginevra

“Israele non ha riconosciuto l’applicabilità della Convenzione di Ginevra ai territori occupati dopo il 1967 col pretesto che non esiste alcuna sovranità legittima su questi territori dopo la fine del mandato britannico…”

“Il Consiglio di sicurezza nel 1979 ribadisce che la quarta Convenzione di Ginevra era applicabile ai territori arabi occupati da Israele dopo il 1967, compresa Gerusalemme…La decisione presa da Israele nel 1980 di promulgare una legge per l’annessione ufficiale di Gerusalemme est e che proclama la città unificata come capitale d’Israele è stata fermamente respinta non solo dal Consiglio di sicurezza e dall’Assemblea generale dell’Onu, ma anche da diverse organizzazioni.

Pag. 30: l’Europa riconosce il diritto dei palestinesi all’autodeterminazione

I Paesi europei hanno avanzato proposte che riconoscono il diritto all’autodeterminazione del popolo palestinese; essi hanno sottolineato che non accettano “alcuna iniziativa unilaterale che ha lo scopo di mutare lo statuto di Gerusalemme” e che “ ogni accordo sullo statuto della città dovrà garantire il diritto di libero accesso per tutti ai Luoghi santi

(Dichiarazione di Venezia del 13 giugno 1980 dei vertice dei Capi di stato e di governo della Cee)

Pag. 31: l’OLP, dichiara l’indipendenza della Palestina e riconosce lo stato d’Israele

Nel 1988, dopo la decisione della Giordania di rompere i suoi legami giuridici e amministrativi con la Cisgiordania, il Consiglio nazionale palestinese (Parlamento palestinese in esilio) ha adottato la Dichiarazione d’indipendenza e pubblicato un comunicato politico dove dichiara di accettare la risoluzione n.181 dell’Assemblea generale dell’Onu (sulla divisione del territorio ndr) e la risoluzione n. 242 (del 1967) del Consiglio di sicurezza e proclama “la nascita dello Stato di Palestina sulla terra palestinese, con capitale Gerusalemme”

Pag. 33: il consiglio di sicurezza chiede a Israele di smantellare le colonie

“La risoluzione n. 465 del 1 marzo 1980 contiene la dichiarazione più dura che il Consiglio disicurezza ha adottato sulla questione delle colonie di popolamento. In questa dichiarazione, il Consiglio deplora vivamente il fatto che Israele ha rigettato le sue risoluzioni precedenti e rifiutato di cooperare con la Commissione ( Onu)…

Il Consiglio qualifica la politica e le pratiche volte a impiantare nuove colonie di popolamento una “violazione flagrante” della quarta Convenzione di Ginevra e dice che sono “un grave ostacolo” all’instaurazione della pace in Medio Oriente; chiede al governo e al popolo israeliani di revocare le misure prese, di smantellare le colonie esistenti e di cessare subito ogni attività di colonizzazione. Chiede anche a tutti gli Stati di non fornire a Israele alcuna assistenza che sarà utilizzata specificamente per le colonie di popolamento dei territori occupati”.

 

thanks to: Agenzia stampa Infopal

L’ONU intraprende un primo passo concreto affinché Israele sia ritenuto responsabile per le violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani, stringe la mano ai delegati prima dell’apertura della trentaseiesima sessione del Consiglio dei Diritti Umani, nella sede europea delle Nazioni Unite. Grazie a: Laurent Gillieron/AP

 

L’ONU intraprende un primo passo concreto affinché Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi

 

27 settembre 2017 — Informazioni pubblicate oggi dai media hanno rivelato che l’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani due settimane fa ha iniziato a inviare lettere a 150 aziende in Israele e nel mondo, avvertendole che potrebbero essere aggiunte a una banca dati delle aziende complici che fanno affari nelle colonie illegali israeliane basate nella Cisgiordania palestinese occupata, compresa Gerusalemme Est.

Le lettere hanno ricordato a queste aziende che le loro attività nelle e con le colonie illegali israeliane sono in violazione di “diritto internazionale e contrarie alle risoluzioni dell’ONU”. Inoltre hanno chiesto che queste aziende rispondano con chiarimenti riguardo a tali attività.

Secondo funzionari israeliani di alto livello, alcune delle aziende hanno già risposto all’Alto Commissario dell’ONU per i Diritti Umani dicendo che non rinnoveranno i loro contratti o non ne firmeranno di nuovi in Israele. “Questo potrebbe trasformarsi in una valanga”, ha detto con preoccupazione un funzionario israeliano.

Delle 150 aziende, circa 30 sono ditte americane e un certo numero sono di nazioni che includono la Germania, la Corea del sud e la Norvegia. La metà restante sono aziende israeliane, compreso il gigante farmaceutico Teva, l’azienda telefonica nazionale Bezeq, l’azienda di autobus Egged, l’azienda idrica nazionale Mekorot, le due maggiori banche del paese Hapoalim e Leumi, la grande azienda militare e tecnologica Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB e Netafim.

Le aziende americane che hanno ricevuto le lettere includono Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor e Airbnb.

A quanto riferito, l’amministrazione Trump sta cercando di impedire la pubblicazione della lista.

 

Omar Barghouti, co-fondatore del movimento BDS, ha commentato:

Dopo decenni di deprivazione dei palestinesi e di occupazione militare e apartheid da parte di Israele, le Nazioni Unite hanno intrapreso un primo passo concreto e pratico per assicurare che Israele sia ritenuta responsabile per le sue continue violazioni dei diritti umani dei palestinesi. I palestinesi accolgono calorosamente questo passo.

Speriamo che il Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU sia inflessibile e pubblichi la sua lista completa delle aziende che operano illegalmente nelle, o con, le colonie israeliane sulla terra palestinese rubata, e che elaborerà questa lista come richiesto dal Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’ONU nel marzo 2016.

Può essere troppo ambizioso aspettarsi che questa misura coraggiosa dell’ONU concernente la responsabilità possa “fare scendere dal piedistallo” Israele, come il leader anti-apartheid sudafricano, arcivescovo Desmond Tutu ha richiesto una volta. Ma se attuata correttamente, questa banca dati dell’ONU sulle aziende che sono complici in alcune delle violazioni di diritti umani da parte di Israele può presagire l’inizio della fine dell’impunità criminale di Israele.

 

Il Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC) è la più grande coalizione della società civile palestinese. Guida e sostiene il movimento globale di Boicottaggio, Divestimento e Sanzioni. Visitate il nostro sito Internet e seguiteci su Facebook e Twitter @BDSmovement.

 

thanks to:  Comitato Nazionale BDS palestinese (BNC)  

Traduzione di BDS Italia

 

 

UN takes first concrete step to hold Israel accountable for violating Palestinian human rights

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, shakes hand with delegates before the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations. Credit: Laurent Gillieron/AP

September 27, 2017  — Today’s media reports revealed that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the globe, warning them that they could be added to a database of complicit companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements based in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The letters reminded these companies that their operations in and with illegal Israeli settlements are in violation of “international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.” They also requested that these companies respond with clarifications about such operations.

According to senior Israeli officials, some of the companies have already responded to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by saying they won’t renew their contracts or sign new ones in Israel. “This could turn into a snowball,” worried an Israeli official.

Of the 150 companies, some 30 are American firms, and a number are from nations including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The remaining half are Israeli companies, including pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, the county’s two biggest banks Hapoalim and Leumi, the large military and technology company Elbit Systems, Coca-Cola, Africa-Israel, IDB and Netafim.

American companies that received letters include Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

The Trump administration is reportedly trying to prevent the list’s publication.

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, commented:

After decades of Palestinian dispossession and Israeli military occupation and apartheid, the United Nations has taken its first concrete, practical step to secure accountability for ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. Palestinians warmly welcome this step.

We hope the UN Human Rights Council will stand firm and publish its full list of companies illegally operating in or with Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land, and will develop this list as called for by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

It may be too ambitious to expect this courageous UN accountability measure to effectively take Israel “off the pedestal,” as South African anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu once called for. But if implemented properly, this UN database of companies that are complicit in some of Israel’s human rights violations may augur the beginning of the end of Israel’s criminal impunity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit our website and follow us on  Facebook and Twitter @BDSmovement.

thanks to: BDSmovement

UN’s list of companies linked to settlements to be published despite Israeli, US pressure

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations Human Rights Council reportedly plans to go ahead with the publication of a list of companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Golan Heights, in spite of immense diplomatic pressure from the United States and Israel.

According to a report published Tuesday by Israel’s Channel 2, the full list will be published in December, and will include some of the biggest firms in the Israeli industry as well as major US companies, a translation of the report from Times of Israel said.
Some of the international companies on the list reportedly include Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Priceline, and Caterpillar, in addition to Israeli companies such as pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.
The list was recently delivered to the Foreign Ministry, the report said.
Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution to support forming a database of all companies conducting business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, amid fierce opposition by the United States and Israel.
The Washington Post previously reported that Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said that the UN planned to publish the list by the end of this year, which prompted the Donald Trump administration to work with Israel to obstruct its publication.
However, according to the US newspaper, Israel and the United States had unsuccessfully attempted to block funding for the database.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the US and Israeli efforts at the UN as “morally repugnant” at the time.
The attempt “exposes the complicity of Israeli and international businesses in Israel’s military occupation and the colonization of Palestinian land,” Ashrawi said. “This is a clear indication of Israel’s persistent impunity and sense of entitlement and privilege.”
Ashrawi highlighted in her statement that Israel’s settlement activities constituted a “war crime” and were in direct violation of international law and several UN resolutions. “Any company that chooses to do business in the illegal settlements becomes complicit in the crime and therefore liable to judicial accountability,” she said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has complained that the list unfairly targets Israel and has noted that it was part of the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which targets specific companies profiting off of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and falls within the traditions of the nonviolent boycott movement against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Israel and the United States have been starkly opposed to any move that could give weight to the BDS movement, and have often claimed that any support of a boycott against Israel amounts to anti-Semitism.
Israel has tightened the noose on the BDS movement in recent months, most notably by passing the anti-BDS law, which bans foreign individuals who have openly called for a boycott of Israel from entering the country.
Furthermore, Israel has routinely condemned the UN for what it sees as their anti-Israel stance, as numerous resolutions have been passed in recent months condemning Israel’s half-century occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its relentless settlement enterprise that has dismembered the Palestinian territory.
However, Palestinians and activists have long pointed out that nonviolent movements, expressed both in BDS activities and raising awareness on the international stage, are some of the last spaces to challenge Israel’s occupation, as Israeli forces have clamped down on popular movements in the Palestinian territory, leaving many Palestinians with diminished hope for the future.

 

Sorgente: UN’s list of companies linked to settlements to be published despite Israeli, US pressure

 

 

UN envoy: Syria opposition should accept defeat

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has called on the Syrian opposition to accept that they have failed to win their war against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“For the opposition, the message is very clear: if they were planning to win the war, facts are proving that is not the case. So now it is time to win the peace,” de Mistura told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday.

The UN special envoy noted that the war was almost over, as many countries have concerted efforts to defeat Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria and a national ceasefire should follow soon after.

“Victory can only be if there is a sustainable political long-term solution. Otherwise instead of war, God forbid, we may see plenty of low intensity guerrilla (conflicts) going on for the next 10 years, and you will see no reconstruction, which is a very sad outcome of winning a war,” he added.

De Mistura plans to join the next round of negotiations between representatives from the Syrian government and foreign-sponsored armed opposition besides delegates from Iran, Russia, and Turkey as mediators in the Kazakh capital city of Astana between September 14 and 15.

He has sought to unify the opposition after hosting seven rounds of largely unsuccessful talks in Geneva.

The UN envoy underlined the need for resolving the fate of Idlib at the Astana talks, saying, “I am confident…there will be a non-conflictual solution – let us say not a new Aleppo, that is what we want to avoid at any cost, if we have learned from the past.”

He called for the formation of a political framework amid liberation of more areas from the control of terrorists groups, saying, “The issue is: is the government, after the liberation of Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah, ready and prepared to genuinely negotiate and not simply announce victory, which we all know, and they know too, cannot be announced because it will not be sustainable without a political process?”

“Will the opposition be able to be unified and realistic enough to realize they did not win the war?” he further asked.

Progress on Idlib

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that experts from Russia, Turkey and Iran have made considerable progress in efforts to agree methods of ensuring security in the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib province.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo by Reuters)

“As for the Idlib province, contacts are underway between the guarantor countries and initiators of the Astana process – Russia, Iran and Turkey,” he said.

“In the course of [these consultations], we have made considerable progress to agree on the parameters, configuration and methods of ensuring security in the de-escalation zone in the Idlib province. I hope we will hear more specific news in the near future,” Lavrov noted.

Since January, Astana has hosted five rounds of peace talks which have so far resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, three of the enclaves had been created to date, in the country’s sprawling central province of Homs, in the Eastern Ghouta area of the southern Rif Dimashq Province, and a southwestern militant-controlled stretch along the border with Jordan.

The photo shows a general view of the fifth round of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on July 5, 2017. (By AFP)

The upcoming talks aim to facilitate the creation of the fourth zone, in the western Syrian Idlib Province, where significant concentrations of Takfiri terrorists, most notably from al-Nusra Front, are operating. The successful materialization of that prospect is expected to give civilians an opportunity to return to peaceful life in Idlib.

The talks in Astana have been going on in tandem with UN-brokered Geneva talks.

When the first round of the Astana talks was organized, the Geneva talks had been stalled for months. The talks in the Kazakh capital then provided momentum for the UN-brokered talks, helping revive them.

Sorgente: PressTV-UN envoy: Syria opposition should accept defeat

UNSC passes resolution to end Israeli settlements

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has passed a resolution censuring Israel for its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories after the US refused to veto it, reversing its longstanding policy of shielding the Israeli regime from condemnatory resolutions at the world body.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution was passed with 14 votes in favor and one abstention on Friday.

Egypt had withdrawn the measure after the Israeli regime asked US President-elect Donald Trump to pressure the North African country to delay voting on the draft resolution.

Israel, wary of indications that the US might veto the resolution, turned to Trump for support , who has defended Israel against condemnation for the settlement construction, and slammed the Obama administration for the “shameful move” against Tel Aviv.

It is the first resolution on Israel and the Palestinians that the 15-member body has passed in about eight years.

The Security Council was initially scheduled to vote on the resolution on Thursday.

However, on Friday, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela put forward the draft again, which called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

It also said the construction of Israeli settlements has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

In this image released by the UN, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power (C) votes to abstain during the December 23, 2016 vote on Israeli settlements.

The vote possibly marks a short-lived turning point in US policy vis-à-vis the Israeli regime. Outgoing US President Barack Obama has said that the Israeli settlements pose an obstacle to the so-called Middle East peace process.

During the Friday session, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told the council that the vote reflected the country’s complaints about Israel’s settlement construction.

“Our vote today is fully in line with the bipartisan history of how American presidents have approached both the issue and the role of this body,” she said, adding that settlement activity “harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region.”

‘Shameful resolution’

Infuriated at Washington’s abstention, Israel’s envoy lashed out at the Obama administration and expressed hope that both Trump and the incoming UN secretary general, António Guterres, would establish closer ties with Tel Aviv.

“It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution,” said Danny Danon.

“I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN secretary-general will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” Dannon added.

Meanwhile, the chief Palestinian negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Saeb Erekat, hailed the UN vote as a “victory for the justice of the Palestinian cause,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced resentment.

Erekat said Trump now had to choose between “international legitimacy” or siding with “settlers and extremists.”

In a statement released on Friday, the Israel prime minister said it “rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms,” adding that Obama failed to “protect Israel”.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in [US] Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution,” the statement said.

Netanyahu’s office also announced in the early hours of Saturday that Tel Aviv had recalled its envoys to Senegal and New Zealand for consultations, and had tasked the Foreign Ministry with cancelling a scheduled visit to Israel by Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye and scrapping an aid program for the West African country.

Trump vows change at the UN

Shortly after the resolution was approved, Trump promised that Washington’s policies at the world body would “be different” during his administration.

“As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20th,” he said in a tweet, referring to the date of his inauguration.

White House defends abstention

Dismissing Trump’s remarks, the White House on Friday defended its decision to allow the motion to pass at the UN, and reminded Trump that Obama was the US president until January 20.

“We could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser.

In a statement released on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the UN resolution “rightly condemns violence and incitement and settlement activity and calls on both sides to take constructive steps to reverse current trends and advance the prospects for a two state solution.” He added, however, that Washington does not agree with every single aspect of the motion. 

The developments come more than a week after Trump announced his decision to nominate hardliner David Friedman as the US ambassador to Israel. Friedman is notorious for his fervent support of Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the occupied territories, and has been characterized as an “obstacle to peace” by successive US administrations. He has said that he plans to work at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

A picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows a general view of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra in the occupied West Bank, established in the vicinity of the Palestinian village of Beitin (background).

Earlier this month, Israeli lawmakers approved a hugely-controversial bill legalizing some 4,000 settler units built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, in the first of three readings needed to turn it into law.

The United States, Israel’s strongest ally, Germany, the country least critical of Tel Aviv in Europe, UN officials, and the European Union have strongly criticized the bill.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Built on occupied land, the settlements are internationally condemned as illegal and equal to land grab.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East al-Quds as its capital.

thanks to: PressTV

L’Onu approva quattro risoluzioni sostenute dai palestinesi in una vittoria storica – Palestinians welcome UN call for settlement database

unnamed (1)Betlemme – Ma’an. In una vittoria storica per la leadership palestinese, giovedì il Consiglio delle Nazioni Unite per i diritti umani il ha approvato quattro risoluzioni riguardanti il ​​territorio palestinese occupato, una delle quali sarà redigere una “lista nera” delle compagnie che fanno affari negli insediamenti illegali israeliani.

Il Dipartimento degli Affari di negoziazione dell’Olp ha riferito che, in aggiunta alla risoluzione riguardante gli insediamenti – che è passata con 32 a 0 –, un’altra è stata adottata per il diritto inalienabile del popolo palestinese all’autodeterminazione.

Una risoluzione basata sui diritti umani dei palestinesi è stata approvata dal Consiglio e si rivolge alle demolizioni delle case, alle violazioni dei luoghi sacri e alle esecuzioni extragiudiziarie eseguite dalle forze israeliane.

È stata approvata un’altra risoluzione per la promulgazione di sistemi investigativi adeguati per garantire la responsabilità per le violazioni compiute da Israele nei terrori palestinesi occupati.

La risoluzione proposta dalla leadership palestinese che obbliga il Consiglio delle Nazioni Unite per i diritti umani a formare un database di tutte le parti che svolgono affari nelle aree sotto l’occupazione militare israeliana ha subito l’opposizione maggiore dagli USA e dall’Unione Europea prima del voto di giovedì, secondo i report del Guardian.

A quanto riferito, i leader occidentali hanno avvertito che sostenere la risoluzione potrebbe andare a scapito degli aiuti concessi all’Autorità palestinese.

La risoluzione riecheggia una recente decisione dell’Unione Europea di etichettare i prodotti realizzati negli insediamenti illegali israeliana, una vittoria per il movimento BDS che tenta di utilizzare il boicottaggio, il disinvestimento e le sanzioni contro Israele per porre fine alla decennale occupazione.

Traduzione di F.G.

Israeli security forces check the IDs of Palestinians at the entrance of the village of Nahalin (AFP)

Israeli security forces check the IDs of Palestinians at the entrance of the village of Nahalin (AFP)

The Palestinian government has hailed the decision by the United Nations to establish a database of companies working in Israeli settlements, a ruling that Israel called an “absurdity”.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday adopted four motions on the Palestinian territories, including one calling for the establishment of a list of companies operating from settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel has long accused the body of unfairly singling it out.

Ibrahim Khreisheh, Palestinian envoy to the UNHRC, called the vote a “message of hope for our people”.

“Israel continues to systematically violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinians while enjoying impunity from the international community,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled UNHRC an “anti-Israel circus” which “attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea.”

UNHRC has also confirmed Canadian Stanley Michael Lynk as its new investigator on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories after his predecessor resigned, citing Israel’s continued refusal to grant him access.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War, in a move considered illegal under international law. Around 400,000 Israeli settlers now live alongside around 2.5 million Palestinians there.

Since the beginning of 2016, over 450 Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank have been destroyed by Israeli forces.

Friday 25 March 2016

thanks to: Infopal

Middle East Eye

Sul Sahara Occidentale spirano venti di guerra

 

La notte del 26 febbraio 1976 la Spagna abbandonò definitivamente il Sahara Occidentale. Il giorno dopo, il 27 febbraio, il Fronte Polisario proclamò la Repubblica araba democratica saharawi (Rasd). La reazione del Marocco fu subito violenta fino ad usare, a un certo punto, bombe al napalm, ma non riuscì a spegnere la resistenza, anche armata, del popolo saharawi. Il Fronte del Polisario nel 1979 firmò la pace con la Mauritania che riconobbe l’indipendenza del Sahara Occidentale. Il Marocco invase allora tutto il territorio del Sahara Occidentale, costringendo all’esodo numerosi combattenti e famiglie sahrawi. Nel 1991, dopo anni di scontri armati, vi fu un accordo per la pace con il cessate il fuoco e l’ONU inviò in missione una delegazione (MINURSO) col compito di vigilare sulla tregua e organizzare un previsto (e mai tenuto) referendum di autodeterminazione (indipendenza o autonomia). Ad oggi l’intesa non è ancora stata raggiunta. Il nodo rimane il referendum su cui ancora non esiste un punto di incontro tra Marocco e Fronte Polisario.

I profughi trovarono asilo nel sud-ovest dell’ Algeria, innanzitutto nell’oasi di Tindouf. Il popolo Saharawi esiliato è composto da oltre 160mila rifugiati che vivono in una striscia di deserto algerino. Combatte contro un terreno inospitale, dove d’estate la temperatura è proibitiva e d’inverno il forte vento irrita occhi e gola. Le malattie qui sono dovute soprattutto al clima. Il territorio è diviso in wilaya (regioni) organizzate a loro volta in daira (province). Spesso manca l’acqua corrente e l’elettricità nelle tende – le abitazioni tradizionali – o nelle più moderne e costose case costruite con mattoni di sabbia, che però rischiano di crollare letteralmente nel periodo delle piogge. Tra la striscia nel deserto algerino e la madre patria vi è un confine/barriera di circa 5 milioni di mine, di filo spinato e di un muro di oltre 2700 chilometri. È stato costruito dal Marocco durante gli anni degli scontri ed è ancora presidiato da migliaia di soldati marocchini. Il “muro della vergogna” lo chiamano i Saharawi, un muro di sicurezza dice il Marocco per proteggere quello che le risoluzioni Onu definiscono un territorio in conflitto. La posizione del Marocco è chiara: nessun territori è occupato. Interessi anche economici risponde la Rasd perché quella terra è ricca di fosfati e ha un mare molto pescoso. Oltre questa barriera, nel Sahara occidentale, vive l’altra parte del popolo saharawi, circa 400mila persone.

A Tindouf lo scorso 27 febbraio il Fronte Polisario ha celebrato il quarantesimo anniversario della propria Repubblica con una sfilata di carri armati, missili, armi e di 25.000 soldati che sbandierando la loro bandiera hanno promesso il ritorno nella loro Patria, il Sahara Occidentale.

Primo Ministro del Fronte Omar Taleb ha dichiato ai giornalisti: “Con la sfilata dei nostre forze militari vogliamo far vedere di avere un esercito bene armato e preparato. La lotta armata per l’indipendenza è una possibilità che non è esclusa e per la quale ci stiamo preparando”.

Una dichiarazione significativa di una situazione estremamente drammatica, la guerra da silenziosa rischia di parlare il linguaggio delle armi. Il processo di decolonizzazione/democratizzazione non solo è fermo, ma regredisce: abusi di diritti umani, arresti e incarcerazioni di attivisti Sahrawi e impossibilità di tornare nella propria terra. Inoltre vi sono seri problemi di sicurezza nella regione: infiltrazioni di gruppi terroristici provenienti dal nord del Mali, al-Qaeda in Maghreb e cellule terroristiche dormienti hanno destabilizzato l’area. Il Fronte Polisario è solo nell’affrontare questi attacchi su più fronti e ha schierato unità anti terrorismo che impiegano tattiche di guerriglia lungo i confini per combattere l’avanzata dei militanti del jihad. Dopo 23 anni di attesa per un referendum, il risentimento della popolazione Sahrawi è aumentato e da più forza al vento di guerra che inizia a spirare.

Prima del quarantesimo e della sfilata militare a Tindouf. Ban Ki-Moon, la settimana scorsa, è stato il primo segretario generale dell’Onu a visitare la regione. Dopo aver visitato i campi in Algeria, ora sede di alcuni più di 90.000 saharawi, ha detto che era commosso e anche addolorato invitando a riprendere i colloqui. La sua visita è venuta poche settimane dopo un importante dissenso tra Rabat e l’UE, in quanto la Corte di Giustizia Europea stabilito che un accordo commerciale su agricoltura e pesca era illegale perché includeva il Sahara occidentale. L’Unione Europea non riconosce la sovranità del Marocco sul Sahara Occidentale. In frontale contrapposizione con l’atteggiamento di re Mohamed VI che, tempo fa annunciò che il “Sahara rimarrà parte del Marocco, fino alla fine dei tempi”.
Rabat ha reagito violentemente sia alla visita che alle dichiarazioni di Ba Ki-Moon, puntando il dito anche contro l’Algeria. Le posizioni dell’ONU sono in forte contrasto con la volontà del Marocco di impadronirsi definitivamente di questo paese. Il Marocco, anche se ha l’appoggio degli Stati Uniti e dell’Arabia Saudita  e di pochi altri alleati tradizionali, è sostanzialmente isolata. Oltre all’ Onu e all’Europa, anche l’ Unione Africana sostiene l’applicazione del cessate il fuoco del 1991, che comporta il referendum.

L’ ultima presa di Ba Ki-Mon va appoggiata  per costringere il Marocco a sedersi al tavolo dei colloqui e permettere che finalmente che l’ONU organizzi il referendum di autodeterminazione (indipendenza o integrazione).

Anche i movimenti che nel mondo ed anche in Italia appoggiano il popolo saharawi devono mobilitarsi perché la posizione dell’ONU venga, finalmente, rispettata e realizzata. Altrimenti l’unica alternativa è la ripresa da parte del Fronte Polisario della lotta armata, come annunciato da Omar Taleb.

Francesco Cecchini

thanks to: Pressenza

I rifugiati saharawi reclamano la fine dell’occupazione

I rifugiati saharawi reclamano la fine dell’occupazione
(Foto di Massinissa Benlakehal)

testo e foto di Massinissa Benlakehal

Il popolo  del Sahara occidentale -l’ultima colonia del continente africano – hanno sollecitato l’ONU di raggiungere una conclusione politica dopo 40 anni di occupazione, da parte del Marocco, della loro terra.

Circa 100.000 saharawi hanno vissuto per quattro decadi in Tindouf, un angolo dell’Algeria sud-occidentale. Vivono in cinque campi, tutti in un deserto fra i più ostili e spogli del mondo; ogni campo ha il nome di una delle principali città della loro terra d’origine.

Un funzionario della Repubblica Araba Democratica Saharawi (SADR), il governo in esilio, internazionalmente riconosciuto del popolo sharawi ha dichiarato: “ Il referendum di autodeterminazione deve essere organizzato per evitare un’ulteriore instabilità delle regioni del Nord Africa. Ci aspettiamo che l’ONU prenda le sue responsabilità. Una missione speciale, MINURSO, fu quella dell’ ONU per il Referendum nel Sahara Occidentale fu dapprima impiegata per monitorare il cessate il fuoco del 1991 tra Fronte Polisario e Marocco.” Il funzionario, per ragioni di sicurezza ha chiesto che non venga fatto il suo nome.

La vita, nell’estremo clima del deserto, nel campo rifugiati di Tindouf è dura. Ed è diventata ultimamente anche più dura perché durante la crisi economica gli aiuti umanitari sono crollati. Secondo il World Food Programme, gli aiuti alimentari sono spesso irregolari e, in genere, insufficienti. Coprono solamente un terzo del fabbisogno nutrizionale.

Celebrando il quarantesimo anniversario della proclama della Repubblica Araba Democratica Saharawi (SADR), il Presidente ha dichiarato ai giornalisti: “ L’ONU e la comunità internazionale devono prendersi le loro responsabilità e riconoscere la questione saharawi.”

Per molti anni le decisioni dell’ONU hanno trovato poca applicazione nel campo. Dopo quasi tre decadi dal cessate il fuoco, i rifugiati saharawi stanno ancora aspettando la conclusione del conflitto.

Il Segretario Generale dell’ONU nel suo rapporto del 2014 ha sottolineato l’urgenza di trarre conclusione e trovare nuove opzioni se progressi non venissero fatti nel 2015. Il problema è stato anche sottolineato dal Primo Ministro del Sahara Occidentale, Omar Taleb: “Marocco è isolato, considerando i suoi problemi sia con l’ONU che Unione Africana, incluso il confronto con molti altri paesi a causa dell’occupazione illegale del Sahara Occidentale. Questo dovrebbe incoraggiare la comunità internazionale a riconoscere la Repubblica Araba Democratica Saharawi (SADR) come membro dell’ONU in risposta all’intransigenza del regime marocchino.”

Più di 80 paesi riconoscono Repubblica Araba Democratica Saharawi. Le istituzioni ufficiali si trovano all’interno dei campi, con 19 ministri di cui tre sono donne. Le donne elette sono il 23% dei parlamentari eletti. La parata miitare nel campo Dakhala ha voluto mostrare al mondo la risolutezza del popolo Sarawi.

Omar Tale ha, inoltre, dichiarato: “Con l’esibizione, celebrando l’anniversario della proclamazione della Repubblica, delle nostre forze armate isaharawi vogliono far vedere che hanno un esercito ben preparato. La lotta armata per l’indipendenza non è scartata e ci stiamo preparando.” La posizione arttuale favorisce l’uso di mezzi diplomatici per trovare una risoluzione. Omar Taleb ha inoltre affermato: “ Il popolo saharawi stanno allo stesso tempo mantenendo il cessate il fuoco, favorendo mezzi pacifici e aspettando la visita del segretario generale dell’ONU che mira trovare una soluzione.” Il Primo Ministro ha concluso che non esclude il fatto “che ci stiamo preparando per altre opzioni.” Ultimamente il governo marocchino ha sospeso contatti con varie istituzioni europee dopo che EU ha deciso lo scorso dicembre ha deciso di cancellare accordi commerciali di agricoltura e pesca con Rabat. La Corte europea ha affermato che accordi commerciali dovrebbero escludere i territori occupati del Sahara Occidentale. In 2015 il volume commerciale del Marocco è stato di 4.39 bilioni di dollari. La maggior parte degli affari fu conclusa con paesi europei. Il Sahara Occidentale è ricco di fosfati e di pesca e si pensa che al largo nell’oceano Atlantico vi sino depositi petroliferi.

25 anni dopo il cessate il fuoco

Dopo essere stata conquistata dagli spagnoli nel 1884, il Sahara Occidentale divenne una provincia spagnola nel 1934. Più di metà del suo territorio dal 1976 è stato sotto il controllodel Marocco. Nel Novembre 1975 ordinò la “ Marcia Verde” di oltre 300.000 marocchini nei territori del Sahara Occidentale. Un mese prima, la Corte Internazionale di Giustizia aveva rigettato i reclami territoriali sia del Marocco che della Mauritania. L’occupazione marocchina provocò una ribellione guidata dal Fronte Polisario. Dopo 15 anni di guerra di guerriglia, l’ONU sponsorizzò un cessate il fuoco nel 1991, con lo scopo di organizzare un referendum di autodeterminazione. Dopo 25 anni non c’è stato nessun referendum. Uno degli ostacoli è stata la definizione di chi doveva votare o no.

Il Fronte Polisario annunciò la fondazione della Repubblica Araba Democratica Saharawi il 27 febbraio 1976.  Molte NGO denunciano continue violazioni da parte del Marocco dei diritti umani torture e assassinii. Secondo il Fronte Polisario ad oggi ci sono 71 saharwi prigionieri politici nelle prigioni marocchine.

Brahim Gali, presidente della commissione politica del Fronte Polisario ed ex ambasciatore in Algeria ha dichiarato: “non c’è dubbio che i Saharawi hanno raggiunto molte cose positive. Lo stato del Sahara Occidentale ha raggiunto maturità ed è in grado di avere il proprio destino nelle proprie mani.”

Sopravvivere nel deserto

Al contrario di molti campi di rifugiati, i campi saharawi sono molto ben orgnizzati, con scuole primarie, ospedali e strutture amministrative. Uomini e donne all’interno dei campi sono coloro che gestiscono i propri affari della vita del campo.

Nella società saharawi le donne hanno un ruolo fondamentale nel gestire la vita del campo.

La scuola è obbligatoria per tutti i bambini. Ci sono più di 6000 bambini che frequentano le scuole primarie dei campi. La maggior parte di loro vengono inviati all’estero per continuare gli studi.

Basa, un sodato di 33 anni ha dichiarato: “Ogni saharawi ha qualcosa da fare. Le autorità organizzano la vita e distribuiscono i compiti nel campo. Sono nato nel campo, ma non ho voluto andare in un altro paese, ma arruolarmi nell’esercito e combattere per la nostra indipendenza.”

L’esercito di liberazione del Sahara Occidentale è composto sia di uomini che di donne.

Massinissa Benlakehal è un fotogiornalista algerino che segue per vari media ed agenzie di informazioni la questione del Sahara Occidentale. Indico una sua breve intervista sul tema rilasciata a Al Jazeera (N.d.T.)

Western Sahara: Interview of Massinissa Benlakehal for AJE Interview of Massinissa Benlakehal, freelance journalist, specialized in the Western Sahara issue for Al Jazeera Channel, on March 5 2016.

traduzione di Francesco Cecchini

thanks to: Pressenza

Yemen: Embargo Arms to Saudi Arabia

(Sanaa) – The United States, United Kingdom, France, and others should suspend all weapon sales to Saudi Arabia until it not only curtails its unlawful airstrikes in Yemen but also credibly investigates alleged violations.

Since March 26, 2015, a coalition of nine Arab countries has conducted military operations against the Houthi armed group and carried out numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes. The airstrikes have continued despite a March 20 announcement of a new ceasefire. The coalition has consistently failed to investigate alleged unlawful attacks as the laws of war require. Saudi Arabia has been the leader of the coalition, with targeting decisions made in the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh.

“For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy global advocacy director. “By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths.”
Nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations have investigated and reported on numerous unlawful coalition airstrikes. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other international and Yemeni groups have issued a joint statement calling for the cessation of sales and transfers of all weapons and military-related equipment to parties to the conflict in Yemen where “there is a substantial risk of these arms being used… to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law.” Human Rights Watch has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes – some of which may amount to war crimes – that have killed at least 550 civilians, as well as 15 attacks involving internationally banned cluster munitions. The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, established under UN Security Council Resolution 2140 (2013), in a report made public on January 26, 2016, “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war.
Saudi Arabia has not responded to Human Rights Watch letters detailing apparent violations by the coalition and seeking clarification on the intended target of attack. Saudi Arabia has successfully lobbied the UN Human Rights Council to prevent it from creating an independent, international investigative mechanism.
In September 2014, the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group from northern Yemen also known as Ansar Allah, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. In January 2015, they effectively ousted President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and his cabinet. The Houthis, along with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, then swept south, threatening to take the port city of Aden. On March 26, the Saudi-led coalition, consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan, began an aerial bombing campaign against Houthi and allied forces.
At least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded since coalition military operations began, 60 percent of them in coalition airstrikes, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The naval blockade the coalition imposed on Yemen has contributed to an immense humanitarian crisis that has left 80 percent of the population of the impoverished country in need of humanitarian protection and assistance.

The UN Panel of Experts found that, “the coalition’s targeting of civilians through air strikes, either by bombing residential neighborhoods or by treating the entire cities of Sa‘dah and Maran in northern Yemen as military targets, is a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. In certain cases, the Panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner.” Deliberate, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks against civilians are serious violations of the laws of war, to which all warring parties are bound.

The UN panel said that the attacks it documented included attacks on “camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sana’a, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes.”

Residents sifting through the rubble of homes destroyed in an airstrike three days prior in Yareem town. The strike killed at least 16 civilians.

The 36 unlawful airstrikes Human Rights Watch documented include attacks on schools, hospitals, and homes, with no evidence they were being used for military purposes. Human Rights Watch has collected the names of over 550 civilians killed in these 36 attacks. Amnesty International has documented an additional 26 strikes that appear to have violated the laws of war. Mwatana, one of Yemen’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report in December that documented an additional 29 unlawful airstrikes across Yemen, from March to October 2015.

In addition, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented civilian casualties from internationally banned cluster munitions used in or near cities and villages. Cluster munitions have been used in multiple locations in at least five of Yemen’s 21 governorates: Amran, Hajja, Hodaida, Saada, and Sanaa. The coalition has used at least six types of cluster munitions, three delivered by air-dropped bombs and three by ground-launched rockets. Human Rights Watch has said there should be an immediate halt to all use of cluster munitions and that coalition members should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Despite the numerous credible reports of serious laws-of-war violations, the Saudi-led coalition has taken no evident actions either to minimize harm to civilians in its air operations or to investigate past incidents and hold those responsible to account. So long as no such steps are taken, governments should not supply weapons to the leading coalition member.

The UK foreign affairs minister, Phillip Hammond, and other senior UK officials have repeatedly said that coalition forces have not committed any violations of the laws of war. On February 2, 2016, an important cross-party committee of UK members of parliament sent a letter to the international development secretary, Justine Greening, calling for immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and an international independent inquiry into the coalition’s military campaign in Yemen.

On February 25, the European parliament passed a resolution calling on the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini “to launch an initiative aimed at imposing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.” On February 17, the Dutch parliament voted to impose the embargo and ban all arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

On January 31, the coalition announced the creation of a committee to promote the coalition’s compliance with the laws of war. However, the military spokesman for the coalition specified that the objective of the committee was not to carry out investigations into alleged violations.

Human Rights Watch has also documented serious laws of war violations by Houthi and allied forces, including indiscriminate shelling of cities, enforced disappearances, and the use of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch supports a ban on the sale or provision of weapons to the Houthis that are likely to be used unlawfully, notably unguided “Grad-type” rockets and anti-personnel landmines.

“How many more airstrikes need to wreak havoc on civilians before countries supplying aircraft and bombs to the coalition pull the plug?” Bolopion said.

UK, US Arms Support for Saudi-led Coalition
Under international law, the US is a party to the armed conflict in Yemen. Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the US Air Force Central Command, said that the US military has deployed dedicated personnel to the Saudi joint planning and operations cell to help “coordinate activities.” US participation in specific military operations, such as providing advice on targeting decisions and aerial refueling during bombing raids, may make US forces jointly responsible for laws-of-war violations by coalition forces. As a party to the conflict, the US is itself obligated to investigate allegedly unlawful attacks in which it took part.

The UK government has said that though it has personnel in Saudi Arabia, they are not involved in carrying out strikes, or directing or conducting operations in Yemen, or selecting targets. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that UK personnel are deployed to “provide advice, help and training” to the Saudi military on the laws of war.

Largest Foreign Military Sales to Saudi Arabia
In July 2015, the US Defense Department approved a number of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, including a US$5.4 billion deal for 600 Patriot Missiles and a $500 million deal for more than a million rounds of ammunition, hand grenades, and other items, for the Saudi army. According to the US Congressional review, between May and September, the US sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis.

In October, the US government approved the sale to Saudi Arabia of up to four Lockheed Littoral Combat Ships for $11.25 billion. In November, the US signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $1.29 billion for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions including laser-guided bombs, “bunker buster” bombs, and MK84 general purpose bombs; the Saudis have used all three in Yemen.

According to the London-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UK government approved GB£2.8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia between January and September 2015. The weapons include 500-pound Paveway IV bombs. The UK is negotiating a £1 billion weapons deal with the UAE.

A June 2015 Spanish government report stated that Spain had authorized eight licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia worth $28.9 million in the first half of the year. In February 2016, Spanish media reported that the government-owned shipbuilding company Navantia was about to sign a contract worth $3.3 billion with Saudi Arabia for the construction of five Avante 2200 type frigates for the Saudi navy.

In July 2015, Saudi Arabia reportedly signed agreements worth $12 billion with France, which included $500 million for 23 Airbus H145 helicopters. The kingdom is also expected to order 30 military patrol boats by 2016 under the agreement. Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia has also recently entered into exclusive negotiations with the French company Thales Group to buy spy satellite and telecommunications equipment worth “billions of euros.”

Coalition Violations
Human Rights Watch has documented 36 airstrikes between March 2015 and January 2016, that appear to have been unlawfully indiscriminate or disproportionate, which include a March 30, 2015 airstrike on a camp for internally displaced people that killed at least 29 civilians and a March 31, 2015 airstrike on a dairy factory outside the port city of Hodaida that killed at least 31 civilians. In Saada, a Houthi stronghold in the north, Human Rights Watch examined more than a dozen airstrikes that occurred between April and May that destroyed or damaged civilian homes, five markets, a school, and a gas station, though there was no evidence these sites were being used for military purposes. These strikes killed 59 people, mostly civilians, including at least 35 children.

On May 12, the coalition struck a civilian prison in the western town of Abs, killing 25 people. On July 24, the coalition dropped nine bombs on and around two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members, killing at least 65 civilians. On August 30, an airstrike hit Al-Sham Water Bottling Factory in the outskirts of Abs, killing 14 workers, including three boys, who were nearing the end of their night shift.

The coalition has carried out strikes on marketplaces, leading to high civilian death tolls. On May 12, a strike on the marketplace of the eastern village of Zabid killed at least 60 civilians. On July 4, an airstrike on the marketplace of the northern village of Muthalith Ahim killed at least 65. On July 6, bombs hit two markets in the governorate of Amran, north of Sanaa, killing at least 29 civilians.

On October 26, the coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in the northern town of Haydan in Saada governorate six times, wounding two patients. Since then, coalition airstrikes have hit MSF facilities twice. An airstrike hit a mobile clinic on December 2, in Taizz, wounding eight, including two staff members, and killing another civilian nearby. On January 21, an airstrike hit an MSF ambulance, killing its driver and six others, and wounded dozens in Saada.

On January 10, a projectile hit an MSF-supported hospital in Saada, killing six people and wounding at least seven, most of them medical staff and patients. MSF said it could not confirm the origin of the attack, but its staff had seen planes flying over the facility at the time of the attack. MSF said on January 25, that it had yet to receive any official explanation for any of these incidents.

On May 8, 2015, Brig. Gen. Ahmad al-Assiri, the military spokesman for the coalition, declared the entire cities of Saada and Marran, another Houthi stronghold, to be military targets. In an interview with Reuters on February 1, al-Assiri spoke about Saudi civilian casualties from Houthi and pro-Saleh forces’ firing across the border. He said, “Now our rules of engagement are: you are close to the border, you are killed.” Treating an entire area as the object of military attack violates the laws-of-war prohibition on attacks that treat distinct military objectives in a city, town or area as a single military objective. Doing so unlawfully denies civilians protection from attack.

Human Rights Watch also documented the coalition’s use of at least six types of cluster munitions in at least 15 attacks in five of Yemen’s 21 governorates between March 2015 and January 2016. Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons and pose long-term dangers to civilians. They are prohibited by the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted by 118 countries, though not Saudi Arabia or Yemen.

Failure to Investigate Alleged Violations
Countries that are party to a conflict have an obligation under international law to investigate credible allegations of war crimes and hold those responsible to account. Human Rights Watch has seen no indication that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has conducted any meaningful investigations into alleged laws-of-war violations.

On August 19, 2015, Human Rights Watch and 22 other human rights and humanitarian organizations called on the UN Human Rights Council to create an independent international commission of inquiry at its September session to investigate alleged laws-of-war violations by all parties to the conflict. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights similarly called on UN member states to encourage the establishment of an “international independent and impartial” investigative mechanism.

Instead, on September 7, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi of Yemen established a national commission to investigate violations of human rights and the laws of war. During the ensuing UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries effectively blocked an effort led by the Netherlands to create an international investigative mechanism. The national commission has taken no tangible steps to conduct investigations, nor has it revealed any working methods or plans, three people close to the commission told Human Rights Watch.

Five days after the release of UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen, on January 31, 2016, the coalition announced a new committee to assess the coalition’s rules of engagement in the war and produce recommendations for the coalition to better respect the laws of war. “The goal of the committee is not to investigate allegations,” Al-Assiri said. “Its primary goal is to confirm the precision of the procedures followed on the level of the coalition command.” As such, this proposed body does not meet the requirements for an impartial investigative mechanism that can address accountability for unlawful attacks or compensate victims of coalition violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Al-Assiri said that the Saudi military has been conducting internal investigations into attacks in which a violation might have ensued, and pointed to a single airstrike that had led to a violation: the October 26, 2015 bombing of an MSF hospital in northern Yemen. He said the strike had been the result of “human error,” but did not outline any steps taken to hold the responsible military personnel to account, or compensate the two civilians wounded in the strike.

thanks to: Human Rights Watch

The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel

The U.N. General Assembly, November 29, 1947

There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.

Great Britain had occupied Palestine during the First World War, and in July 1922, the League of Nations issued its mandate for Palestine, which recognized the British government as the occupying power and effectively conferred to it the color of legal authority to temporarily administrate the territory.[1] On April 2, 1947, seeking to extract itself from the conflict that had arisen in Palestine between Jews and Arabs as a result of the Zionist movement to establish in Palestine a “national home for the Jewish people”,[2] the United Kingdom submitted a letter to the U.N. requesting the Secretary General “to place the question of Palestine on the Agenda of the General Assembly at its next regular Annual Session”, and requesting the Assembly “to make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine.”[3] To that end, on May 15, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 106, which established the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate “the question of Palestine”, to “prepare a report to the General Assembly” based upon its findings, and to “submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine”.[4]

On September 3, UNSCOP issued its report to the General Assembly declaring its majority recommendation that Palestine be partitioned into separate Jewish and Arab states. It noted that the population of Palestine at the end of 1946 was estimated to be almost 1,846,000, with 1,203,000 Arabs (65 percent) and 608,000 Jews (33 percent). Growth of the Jewish population had been mainly the result of immigration, while growth of the Arab population had been “almost entirely” due to natural increase. It observed that there was “no clear territorial separation of Jews and Arabs by large contiguous areas”, and even in the Jaffa district, which included Tel Aviv, Arabs constituted a majority.[5] Land ownership statistics from 1945 showed that Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine. The district with the highest percentage of Jewish ownership was Jaffa, where 39 percent of the land was owned by Jews, compared to 47 percent owned by Arabs.[6] In the whole of Palestine at the time UNSCOP issued its report, Arabs owned 85 percent of the land,[7] while Jews owned less than 7 percent.[8]

Despite these facts, the UNSCOP proposal was that the Arab state be constituted from only 45.5 percent of the whole of Palestine, while the Jews would be awarded 55.5 percent of the total area for their state.[9] The UNSCOP report acknowledged that

With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the ‘A’ Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there. Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle.[10]

In other words, the report explicitly recognized that the denial of Palestinian independence in order to pursue the goal of establishing a Jewish state constituted a rejection of the right of the Arab majority to self-determination. And yet, despite this recognition, UNSCOP had accepted this rejection of Arab rights as being within the bounds of a legitimate and reasonable framework for a solution.

Following the issuance of the UNSCOP report, the U.K. issued a statement declaring its agreement with the report’s recommendations, but adding that “if the Assembly should recommend a policy which is not acceptable to both Jews and Arabs, the United Kingdom Government would not feel able to implement it.”[11] The position of the Arabs had been clear from the beginning, but the Arab Higher Committee issued a statement on September 29 reiterating that “the Arabs of Palestine were determined to oppose with all the means at their disposal, any scheme that provided for segregation or partition, or that would give to a minority special and preferential status”. It instead

advocated freedom and independence for an Arab State in the whole of Palestine which would respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law, and would protect the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities whilst guaranteeing freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.[12]

The U.K. followed with a statement reiterating “that His Majesty’s Government could not play a major part in the implementation of a scheme that was not acceptable to both Arabs and Jews”, but adding “that they would, however, not wish to impede the implementation of a recommendation approved by the General Assembly.”[13]

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question was established by the General Assembly shortly after the issuance of the UNSCOP report in order to continue to study the problem and make recommendations. A sub-committee was established in turn that was tasked with examining the legal issues pertaining to the situation in Palestine, and it released the report of its findings on November 11. It observed that the UNSCOP report had accepted a basic premise “that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews both possess validity”, which was “not supported by any cogent reasons and is demonstrably against the weight of all available evidence.” With an end to the Mandate and with British withdrawal, “there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent state”, which “would be the logical culmination of the objectives of the Mandate” and the Covenant of the League of Nations. It found that “the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine, and that the settlement of the future government of Palestine is a matter solely for the people of Palestine.” It concluded that “no further discussion of the Palestine problem seems to be necessary or appropriate, and this item should be struck off the agenda of the General Assembly”, but that if there was a dispute on that point, “it would be essential to obtain the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on this issue”, as had already been requested by several of the Arab states. It concluded further that the partition plan was “contrary to the principles of the Charter, and the United Nations have no power to give effect to it.” The U.N. could not

deprive the majority of the people of Palestine of their territory and transfer it to the exclusive use of a minority in the country…. The United Nations Organization has no power to create a new State. Such a decision can only be taken by the free will of the people of the territories in question. That condition is not fulfilled in the case of the majority proposal, as it involves the establishment of a Jewish State in complete disregard of the wishes and interests of the Arabs of Palestine.[14]

Nevertheless, the General Assembly passed Resolution 181 on November 29, with 33 votes in favor to 13 votes against, and 10 abstentions.[15] The relevant text of the resolution stated:

The General Assembly….

Recommends to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union set out below;

Requests that

(a) The Security Council take the necessary measure as provided for in the plan for its implementation;

(b) The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measure, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;

(c) The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;

(d) The Trusteeship Council be informed of the responsibilities envisaged for it in this plan;

Calls upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect;

Appeals to all Governments and all peoples to refrain from taking action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations….[16]

A simple reading of the text is enough to show that the resolution did not partition Palestine or offer any legal basis for doing so. It merely recommended that the partition plan be implemented and requested the Security Council to take up the matter from there. It called upon the inhabitants of Palestine to accept the plan, but they were certainly under no obligation to do so.

A Plan Never Implemented

The matter was thus taken up by the Security Council, where, on December 9, the Syrian representative to the U.N., Faris El-Khouri, observed that “the General Assembly is not a world government which can dictate orders, partition countries or impose constitutions, rules, regulations and treaties on people without their consent.” When the Soviet representative Andrei Gromyko stated his government’s opposing view that “The resolution of the General Assembly should be implemented” by the Security Council, El-Khouri replied by noting further that

Certain paragraphs of the resolution of the General Assembly which concern the Security Council are referred to the Council, namely, paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), outlining the functions of the Security Council in respect of the Palestinian question. All of the members of the Security Council are familiar with the Council’s functions, which are well defined and clearly stated in the Charter of the United Nations. I do not believe that the resolution of the General Assembly can add to or delete from these functions. The recommendations of the General Assembly are well known to be recommendations, and Member States are not required by force to accept them. Member States may or may not accept them, and the same applies to the Security Council. [17]

On February 6, 1948, the Arab Higher Committee again communicated to the U.N. Secretary General its position that the partition plan was “contrary to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter”. The U.N. “has no jurisdiction to order or recommend the partition of Palestine. There is nothing in the Charter to warrant such authority, consequently the recommendation of partition is ultra vires and therefore null and void.” Additionally, the Arab Higher Committee noted that

The Arab Delegations submitted proposals in the Ad Hoc Committee in order to refer the whole legal issue raised for a ruling by the International Court of Justice. The said proposals were never put to vote by the president in the Assembly. The United Nations is an International body entrusted with the task of enforcing peace and justice in international affairs. How would there be any confidence in such a body if it bluntly and unreasonably refuses to refer such a dispute to the International Court of Justice?

“The Arabs of Palestine will never recognize the validity of the extorted partition recommendations or the authority of the United Nations to make them”, the Arab Higher Committee declared, and they would “consider that any attempt by the Jews or any power or group of powers to establish a Jewish State in Arab territory is an act of aggression which will be resisted in self-defense by force.”[18]

On February 16, the U.N. Palestine Commission, tasked by the General Assembly to prepare for the transfer of authority from the Mandatory Power to the successor governments under the partition plan, issued its first report to the Security Council. It concluded on the basis of the Arab rejection that it “finds itself confronted with an attempt to defect its purposes, and to nullify the resolution of the General Assembly”, and calling upon the Security Council to provide an armed force “which alone would enable the Commission to discharge its responsibilities on the termination of the Mandate”. In effect, the Palestine Commission had determined that the partition plan should be implemented against the will of the majority population of Palestine by force.[19]

In response to that suggestion, Colombia submitted a draft Security Council resolution noting that the U.N. Charter did “not authorize the Security Council to create special forces for the purposes indicated by the United Nations Palestine Commission”.[20] The U.S. delegate, Warren Austin, similarly stated at the 253rd meeting of the Security Council on February 24 that

The Security Council is authorized to take forceful measures with respect to Palestine to remove a threat to international peace. The Charter of the United Nations does not empower the Security Council to enforce a political settlement whether it is pursuant to a recommendation of the General Assembly or of the Security Council itself. What this means is this: The Security Council, under the Charter, can take action to prevent aggression against Palestine from outside. The Security Council, by these same powers, can take action to prevent a threat to international peace and security from inside Palestine. But this action must be directed solely to the maintenance of international peace. The Security Council’s action, in other words, is directed to keeping the peace and not to enforcing partition.[21]

The United States nevertheless submitted its own draft text more ambiguously accepting the requests of the Palestine Commission “subject to the authority of the Security Council under the Charter”.[22] Faris El-Khouri objected to the U.S. draft on the grounds that “before accepting these three requests, it is our duty to ascertain whether they are or are not within the framework of the Security Council as limited by the Charter. If it is found that they are not, we should decline to accept them.” He recalled Austin’s own statement on the lack of authority of the Security Council, saying, “It would follow from this undeniable fact that any recommendation on a political settlement can be implemented only if the parties concerned willingly accept and complement it.” Furthermore, “the partition plan itself constitutes a threat to the peace, being openly rejected by all those at whose expense it was to be executed.”[23] Austin in turn explained the intent of the U.S. draft that its acceptance of Resolution 181 is

subject to the limitation that armed force cannot be used for implementation of the plan, because the Charter limits the use of United Nations force expressly to threats to and breaches of the peace and aggression affecting international peace. Therefore, we must interpret the General Assembly resolution as meaning that the United Nations measures to implement this resolution are peaceful measures.

Moreover, explained Austin, the U.S. draft

does not authorize use of enforcement under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter to empower the United Nations Commission to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by the resolution, because the Charter does not authorize either the General Assembly or the Security Council to do any such thing.[24]

When the Security Council did finally adopt a resolution on March 5, it merely made a note of “Having received General Assembly resolution 181″ and the first monthly Palestine Commission report, and resolved

to call on the permanent members of the Council to consult and to inform the Security Council regarding the situation with respect to Palestine and to make, as the result of such consultations, recommendations to it regarding the guidance and instructions which the Council might usefully give to the Palestine Commission with a view to implementing the resolution of the General Assembly.[25]

During further debates at the Security Council over how to proceed, Austin observed that it had become “clear that the Security Council is not prepared to go ahead with efforts to implement this plan in the existing situation.” At the same time, it was clear that the U.K.’s announced termination of the Mandate on May 15 “would result, in the light of information now available, in chaos, heavy fighting and much loss of life in Palestine.” The U.N. could not permit this, he said, and the Security Council had the responsibility and authority under the Charter to act to prevent such a threat to the peace. The U.S. also proposed establishing a Trusteeship over Palestine to give further opportunity to the Jews and Arabs to reach a mutual agreement. Pending the convening of a special session of the General Assembly to that end, “we believe that the Security Council should instruct the Palestine Commission to suspend its efforts to implement the proposed partition plan.”[26]

The Security Council President, speaking as the representative from China, responded: “The United Nations was created mainly for the maintenance of international peace. It would be tragic indeed if the United Nations, by attempting a political settlement, should be the cause of war. For these reasons, my delegation supports the general principles of the proposal of the United States delegation.”[27] At a further meeting of the Security Council, the Canadian delegate stated that the partition plan “is based on a number of important assumptions”, the first of which was that “it was assumed that the two communities in Palestine would co-operate in putting into effect the solution to the Palestine problem which was recommended by the General Assembly.”[28] The French delegate, while declining to extend either approval for or disapproval of the U.S. proposal, observed that it would allow for any number of alternative solutions from the partition plan, including “a single State with sufficient guarantees for minorities”.[29] The representative from the Jewish Agency for Palestine read a statement categorically rejecting “any plan to set up a trusteeship regime for Palestine”, which “would necessarily entail a denial of the Jewish right to national independence.”[30]

Mindful of the worsening situation in Palestine, and wishing to avoid further debate, the U.S. proposed another draft resolution calling for a truce between Jewish and Arab armed groups that Austin noted “would not prejudice the claims of either group” and which “does not mention trusteeship.”[31] It was adopted as Resolution 43 on April 1.[32] Resolution 44 was also passed the same day requesting “the Secretary-General, in accordance with Article 20 of the United Nations Charter, to convoke a special session of the General Assembly to consider further the question of the future government of Palestine.”[33] Resolution 46 reiterated the Security Council’s call for the cessation of hostilities in Palestine,[34] and Resolution 48 established a “Truce Commission” to further the goal of implementing its resolutions calling for an end to the violence.[35]

On May 14, the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared the existence of the State of Israel, citing Resolution 181 as constituting “recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State”.[36] As anticipated, war ensued.

The Authority of the U.N. with Regard to Partition

Chapter 1, Article 1 of the U.N. Charter defines its purposes and principles, which are to “maintain international peace and security”, to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”, and to “achieve international co-operation” on various issues and “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all”.

The functions and powers of the General Assembly are listed under Chapter IV, Articles 10 through 17. It is tasked to initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international cooperation and the development of international law, to receive reports from the Security Council and other organs of the U.N., and to consider and approve the organization’s budget. It is also tasked with performing functions under the international trusteeship system. Its authority is otherwise limited to considering and discussing matters within the scope of the Charter, making recommendations to Member States or the Security Council, or calling attention of matters to the Security Council.

Chapter V, Articles 24 through 26, states the functions and powers of the Security Council.  It is tasked with maintaining peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the U.N. The specific powers granted to the Security Council are stated in Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and XII. Under Chapter VI, the Security Council may call upon parties to settle disputes by peaceful means, investigate, and make a determination as to whether a dispute or situation constitutes a threat to peace and security. It may recommend appropriate procedures to resolve disputes, taking into consideration that “legal disputes should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice”. Under Chapter VII, the Security Council may determine the existence of a threat to peace and make recommendations or decide what measures are to be taken to maintain or restore peace and security. It may call upon concerned parties to take provisional measures “without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned.” It may call upon member states to employ “measures not involving the use of armed force” to apply such measures. Should such measures be inadequate, it may authorize the use of armed forces “to maintain or restore international peace and security”. Chapter VIII states that the Security Council “shall encourage the development of pacific settlements of local disputes” through regional arrangements or agencies, and utilize such to enforce actions under its authority.

The functions and powers of the International Trusteeship System are listed under Chapter XII, Articles 75 through 85. The purpose of the system is to administer and supervise territories placed therein by agreement with the goal of “development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned”. The system is to operate in accordance with the purposes of the U.N. stated in Article 1, including respect for the right of self-determination. The General Assembly is tasked with all functions “not designated as strategic”, which are designated to the Security Council. A Trusteeship Council is established to assist the General Assembly and the Security Council to perform their functions under the system.

Chapter XIII, Article 87 states the functions and powers of the Trusteeship Council, which are shared by the General Assembly. Authority is granted to consider reports, accept and examine petitions, provide for visits to trust territories, and “take these and other actions in conformity with the terms of the trusteeship agreements.”

Another relevant section is Chapter XI, entitled the “Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories”, which states that

Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories…

To that end, Member states are “to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions”.

Conclusion

The partition plan put forth by UNSCOP sought to create within Palestine a Jewish state contrary to the express will of the majority of its inhabitants. Despite constituting only a third of the population and owning less than 7 percent of the land, it sought to grant to the Jews more than half of Palestine for purpose of creating that Jewish state. It would, in other words, take land from the Arabs and give it to the Jews. The inherent injustice of the partition plan stands in stark contrast to alternative plan proposed by the Arabs, of an independent state of Palestine in which the rights of the Jewish minority would be recognized and respected, and which would afford the Jewish population representation in a democratic government. The partition plan was blatantly prejudicial to the rights of the majority Arab population, and was premised on the rejection of their right to self-determination. This is all the more uncontroversial inasmuch as the UNSCOP report itself explicitly acknowledged that the proposal to create a Jewish state in Palestine was contrary to the principle of self-determination. The plan was also premised upon the erroneous assumption that the Arabs would simply acquiesce to having their land taken from them and voluntarily surrender their majority rights, including their right to self-determination.

U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 neither legally partitioned Palestine nor conferred upon the Zionist leadership any legal authority to unilaterally declare the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. It merely recommended that the UNSCOP partition plan be accepted and implemented by the concerned parties. Naturally, to have any weight of law, the plan, like any contract, would have to have been formally agreed upon by both parties, which it was not. Nor could the General Assembly have legally partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority for the creation of Israel to the Zionist leadership, as it simply had no such authority to confer. When the Security Council took up the matter referred to it by the General Assembly, it could come to no consensus on how to proceed with implementing the partition plan. It being apparent that the plan could not be implemented by peaceful means, the suggestion that it be implemented by force was rejected by members of the Security Council. The simple fact of the matter is that the plan was never implemented. Numerous delegates from member states, including the U.S., arrived at the conclusion that the plan was impracticable, and, furthermore, that the Security Council had no authority to implement such a plan except by mutual consent by concerned parties, which was absent in this case.

The U.S., Syria, and other member nations were correct in their observations that, while the Security Council did have authority to declare a threat to the peace and authorize the use of force to deal with that and maintain or restore peace and security, it did not have any authority to implement by force a plan to partition Palestine contrary to the will of most of its inhabitants. Any attempt to usurp such authority by either the General Assembly or the Security Council would have been a prima facie violation of the Charter’s founding principle of respect for the right to self-determination of all peoples, and thus null and void under international law.

In sum, the popular claim that the U.N. “created” Israel is a myth, and Israel’s own claim in its founding document that U.N. Resolution 181 constituted legal authority for Israel’s creation, or otherwise constituted “recognition” by the U.N. of the “right” of the Zionist Jews to expropriate for themselves Arab land and deny to the majority Arab population of that land their own right to self-determination, is a patent fraud.

Further corollaries may be drawn. The disaster inflicted upon Palestine was not inevitable. The U.N. was created for the purpose of preventing such catastrophes. Yet it failed miserably to do so, on numerous counts. It failed in its duty to refer the legal questions of the claims to Palestine to the International Court of Justice, despite requests from member states to do so. It failed to use all means within its authority, including the use of armed forces, to maintain peace and prevent the war that was predicted would occur upon the termination of the Mandate. And most importantly, far from upholding its founding principles, the U.N. effectively acted to preventthe establishment of an independent and democratic state of Palestine, in direct violation of the principles of its own Charter. The consequences of these and other failures are still witnessed by the world today on a daily basis. Recognition of the grave injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people in this regard and dispelling such historical myths is essential if a way forward towards peace and reconciliation is to be found.

References

[1] The Palestine Mandate of the Council of the League of Nations, July 24, 1922, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp.

[2] Great Britain had contributed to the conflict by making contradictory promises to both Jews and Arabs, including a declaration approved by the British Cabinet that read, “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” This declaration was delivered by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to representative of the Zionist movement Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild in a letter on November 2, 1917, and thus came to be known as “The Balfour Declaration”, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/balfour.asp.

[3] Letter from the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations to the U.N. Secretary-General, April 2, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/87aaa6be8a3a7015802564ad0037ef57?OpenDocument.

[4] U.N. General Assembly Resolution 106, May 15, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/f5a49e57095c35b685256bcf0075d9c2?OpenDocument.

[5] United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Report to the General Assembly, September 3, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/07175de9fa2de563852568d3006e10f3?OpenDocument.

[6] “Palestine Land Ownership by Sub-Districts (1945)”, United Nations, August 1950, http://domino.un.org/maps/m0094.jpg. The map was prepared on the instructions of Sub-Committee 2 of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question and presented as Map No. 94(b). Statistics were as follows (Arab/Jewish land ownership in percentages): Safad: 68/18; Acre: 87/3; Tiberias: 51/38; Haifa: 42/35; Nazareth: 52/28; Beisan: 44/34; Jenin: 84/1, Tulkarm: 78/17; Nablus: 87/1; Jaffa: 47/39; Ramle: 77/14; Ramallah: 99/less than 1; Jerusalem: 84/2; Gaza: 75/4; Hebron: 96/less than 1; Beersheeba: 15/less than 1.

[7] UNSCOP Report.

[8] Walid Khalidi, “Revisiting the UNGA Partition Resolution”, Journal of Palestine Studies XXVII, no. 1 (Autumn 1997), p. 11, http://www.palestine-studies.org/enakba/diplomacy/Khalidi,%20Revisiting%20the%201947%20UN%20Partition%20Resolution.pdf. Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine (New York: Vintage Books Edition, 1992), pp. 23, 98.

[9] Khalidi, p. 11.

[10] UNSCOP Report.

[11] “U.K. Accepts UNSCOP General Recommendations; Will Not Implement Policy Unacceptable by Both Arabs and Jews”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestinian Question 2nd Meeting, September 26, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/ecb5eae2e1d29ed08525686d00529256?OpenDocument.

[12] “The Arab Case Stated by Mr. Jamal Husseini”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestinian Question 3rd Meeting, United Nations, September 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/a8c17fca1b8cf5338525691b0063f769?OpenDocument.

[13] “Palestine Committee Hears U.K. Stand and Adjourns; Sub-Committees Meet”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine 24th Meeting, United Nations, November 20, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/12966c9f443583e085256a7200661aab?OpenDocument.

[14] “Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question Report of Sub-Committee 2″, United Nations, November 11 1947, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/AAC1432.pdf.

[15] United Nations General Assembly 128th Plenary Meeting, United Nations, November 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/46815f76b9d9270085256ce600522c9e?OpenDocument.

[16] United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/7f0af2bd897689b785256c330061d253?OpenDocument.

[17] United Nations Security Council 222nd Meeting, December 9, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/ce37bc968122a33985256e6900649bf6?OpenDocument.

[18] “First Special Report to the Security Council: The Problem of Security in Palestine”, United Nations Palestine Commission, February 16, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/fdf734eb76c39d6385256c4c004cdba7?OpenDocument.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Draft Resolution on the Palestinian Question Submitted by the Representative of Colombia at the 254th Meeting of the Security Council, February 24, 1948, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/S684.pdf.

[21] U.N. Security Council 253rd Meeting (S/PV.253), February 24, 1948, http://documents.un.org.

[22] Draft Resolution on the Palestinian Question Submitted by the Representative of the United States at the Two Hundred and Fifty Fifth Meeting of the Security Council, February 25, 1948, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/S685.pdf.

[23] United Nations Security Council 260th Meeting, March 2, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/fcbe849f43cbb7158525764f00537dcb?OpenDocument.

[24] Ibid.

[25] United Nations Security Council Resolution 42, March 5, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/d0f3291a30a2bc30852560ba006cfb88?OpenDocument.

[26] U.N. Security Council 271st Meeting, March 19, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/5072db486adf13d0802564ad00394160?OpenDocument.

[27] Ibid.

[28] United Nations Security Council 274th Meeting, March 24, 1948, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL4/812/32/PDF/NL481232.pdf?OpenElement.

[29] Ibid. [30] Ibid.

[31] United Nations Security Council 275th Meeting, March 30, 1948, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL4/812/32/PDF/NL481232.pdf?OpenElement.

[32] United Nations Security Council Resolution 43, April 1, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/676bb71de92db89b852560ba006748d4?OpenDocument.

[33] United Nations Security Council Resolution 44, April 1, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/1b13eb4af9118629852560ba0067c5ad?OpenDocument.

[34] United Nations Security Council Resolution 46, April 17, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/9612b691fc54f280852560ba006da8c8?OpenDocument.

[35] United Nations Security Council Resolution 48, April 23, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/d9c60b4a589766af852560ba006ddd95?OpenDocument.

[36] The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948, http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/peace%20process/guide%20to%20the%20peace%20process/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.

thanks to: Jeremy R. Hammond