Palestinians’ sovereign rights must be ensured, Qatar tells UN

NEW YORK: Qatar has told the UN General Assembly that Palestinians must have full rights to exercise sovereignty over their occupied territories, the Qatar News Agency reported.

The statement was made by Third Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the UN Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani during the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) meeting.

Qatar said Israel continued to exploit natural resources in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as other occupied Arab territories, and obstructed Palestinians’ access to their resources and property.

It also annexed lands, demolished homes and displaced people, causing damage to agricultural areas and native plant life, the statement added.

Sheikh Abdulrahman referred to a report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia that detailed the suffering of Palestinians and Syrians on the Golan Heights. The report also highlighted the impact of Israel’s practices on living conditions for Palestinians and Syrians, and of COVID-19 on long-term development.

Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law recognized the principle that no one should be deprived of their private property, he said.

Sheikh Abdulrahman added that the General Assembly reaffirmed the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources under foreign occupation in its resolution 76/225, and that it must be respected in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

He also expressed deep concern at the report’s reference to the damage caused to educational facilities in the Gaza Strip and said Qatar had increased its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, including its educational program.

The Qatar Fund for Development continued to provide assistance to the agency, which provides lifesaving health and education services to Palestinian refugees, he added.

Over the past decade, Qatar’s financial assistance to Gaza, including funds to pay for the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by Israeli military operations, totaled more than $1.5 billion, Sheikh Abdulrahman said.

He concluded by saying that Qatar would continue to support international efforts aimed at achieving security, stability and peace in the region.

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