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Mehmet Ferden ÇARIKÇI 23.09.2013
24th Session of the Human Rights Council
Item 7 General Debate

Statement by Turkey

Mr. President,

The Secretary General’s report registers once more grave human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian State .

Improvement of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories requires first and foremost the ending of Israeli occupation as well as the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

We appreciate in particular the emphasis given in the report to the severe impact of the Israeli restrictions on the Gaza Strip. Other additional restrictions make life even more difficult there.

All restrictions on Gaza are illegitimate, unsustainable and counter-productive. They constitute collective punishment of the civilian population.

As the ceasefire arrangement persists, further easing of restrictions must also follow.

Despite outright condemnations by the international community, Israel still continues with its illegal settlement activities. This expansionist policy constitutes a real threat to the success of the on-going efforts towards a just and lasting peace based on the two state vision.

The issue of impunity of the Israeli settlers must also be addressed.

The international community must be firm in its rejection and condemnation of these and other unacceptable Israeli actions, inter alia forcible transfer of the Palestinians, restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and goods, attempts to artificially changing the demographic and multi-cultural identity of Jerusalem.

The suffering of the Palestinians held in Israeli prisons is also a serious concern. The ill-treatment of Palestinian children in prisons is inhumane, to say the least.

As the members of the international community, we have a compelling moral duty to highlight the agony of the remaining Palestinian prisoners.

In sum, Israel, as an occupying power should abide by all its obligations under international law in the territories of the occupied Palestinian State.

Thank you Mr. President

Atatürk

Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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