Israeli settlements in occupied territories illegal & obstacle to peace: Sheikha Alya Oct 18, 2020 0 5425 12345 QNANew YorkQatar has reiterated that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal, an obstacle to peace and threaten the two-state solution.Qatar reaffirmed that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Arab Golan is null and void and has no international legal effect. Qatar expressed its rejection of illegal practices in Golan, which violate the relevant international resolutions.“A permanent, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue requires serious negotiations between the two sides, Palestinian and Israeli, on the basis of the agreed upon references, the United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, in order to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan,” Ambassador HE Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations in New York, said before the United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session.She called for an immediate and complete cessation of settlement activities, the return of refugees, and the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, with an emphasis on the need not to prejudice the status quo of Holy Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian sanctities, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque.Sheikha Alya said after reviewing the reports presented to the committee the international consensus has become evident once again to reject Israeli practices that affect those rights, and to reject all violations and breaches of international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law.She stressed Qatar’s affirmation that the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 applies to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967.She pointed out that Israel must comply with the demands of the General Assembly in its various resolutions, as well as lift the blockade imposed on Gaza Strip, which is causing the deterioration of the economic and humanitarian situation of its residents.Recognising the importance of addressing humanitarian and economic crises in order to achieve stability and create an environment conducive to peace, she said Qatar will continue to provide humanitarian and development support for the benefit of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory under the directives of His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.Sheikha Alya pointed out that the contributions of Qatar through Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) and the Gaza Reconstruction Committee exceeded $1 billion, in addition to the contributions made by civil society institutions.“This support has tangible effects in addressing urgent and long-term needs in many areas, strengthening infrastructure, repairing housing, supplying electric power and providing jobs.”She said this year, $150 million has been provided to address humanitarian needs, including facing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).Regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Sheikha Alya stated that Qatar has increased the level of its donation in favour of UNRWA’s basic resources. She stressed the importance of continued international support for it to address the financial difficulties it faces.She congratulated the UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, on his assumption of his post this year, affirming Qatar’s support for him in carrying out his mission.Sheikha Alya expressed her belief that the general discussion of the items at this session is a renewed opportunity to reaffirm the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN resolutions related to decolonization.She said the principle of ending colonialism and foreign occupation is one of the important principles that the United Nations seeks to achieve. She stressed the need to continue seeking to reach just settlements for all cases before this committee, in accordance with international law, and in a manner that takes into account the specifics of each case separately.With regard to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, she said Qatar -- within the framework of its belief in settling disputes by peaceful means and through dialogue -- expresses support for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General aimed at facilitating a permanent and agreed upon political solution. 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