United Nations General Assembly Tenth Emergency Special Session
15-16 January 2009
Excerpt from the statement of the Representative of Algeria:
“Israel is a warmongering state which practices state terrorism and ignores its obligations under the UN Charter, and it is not ready to respect them. This is clearly stated by its leaders today and is clearly demonstrated by its behavior as an occupying power for more than 40 years.
“Beyond the rejection of the obligations under the Charter, Israel has demonstrated that it has established, as a policy of its state, the violation of the international law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and all the international instruments regarding human rights, and all international standards with regard to protection of civilians in armed conflicts.
“With the carnage that we have seen openly in Gaza since the 27 of December last year, Israel intends to defy the very foundations of international criminal justice by establishing crimes against humanity and war crimes as a means of diplomatic pressure, while enjoying total impunity.”
Excerpt from the statement of the Representative of Yemen:
Mister President, first of all, allow me to thank you for convening this Emergency Special Session. It is extremely important because it is discussing the tragedy of the Palestinian people in Gaza. /…/
“We are meeting today, when the unarmed Palestinian population have for 20 days now been suffering a savage attack by the occupying power, Israel. There have been more than a thousand victims and thousands of injured as a result of this barbaric attack.
“At the same time as the authorities intensify military operations and say that those military operations will only stop once the objective has been reached, it is a paradox and surprising that this outrageous war declared by Israel against a people under occupation for four decades is justified under legitimate self-defence.
“How can the occupier say, when the occupation itself is an aggression, how can the occupier continue to invoke self-defence?
“Whatever the situation of the redeployment of Israeli army forces, noone, even those who support Tel Aviv, nobody can deny that Israel has total control of the air, land and sea borders as well as monopoly over the air space over Gaza. So, we can say that Gaza is still under Israeli occupation. Those who say the contrary read international law from a political view point. And this is why this reading is not just a misinterpretation of international law but it runs counter to the principles of international law itself.
“How can, whoever is imposing a mortal blockade against families and children, forbidding the access for medications and food, how is it possible to justify these inhuman practices and consider it to be self-defence?
“The concept of self-defence perhaps has changed overnight, or has it perhaps been reinterpreted to cover Israeli crimes?
“Whoever occupies the territory of another, creates settlements, and changes facts on the ground cannot say that this is self-defence because these acts are contrary to international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
“Now, those who fight against the occupier, expansion and annexation are, in fact, those who are defending themselves. Those who fight against the occupier, according to the laws of international law, are not terrorists but freedom fighters. And this, inspite of the amalgamation that some do between fighting the occupier and terrorism.”
(See Video: 15 January, afternoon session – Real Player format)
The statement of the representative of Algeria
The statement of the representative of Yemen