Palestine: Press Conference with Sofiane Mimouni, Abdou Abarry, & Riyad Mansour (18 May 2021)

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The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.

 

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “Palestine: Press Conference with Sofiane Mimouni, Abdou Abarry, & Riyad Mansour (18 May 2021)” – below is their description.

    Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said it was not in the interest of the Palestinian people to “send gifts” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rather it is to “isolate Netanyahu and his extremist fascist groups until they cannot bare this global pressure on them to stop this aggression, which will happen.”

    Speaking to reporters in New York today (18 May) alongside Algerian ambassador Sofiane Mimouni, who chairs the Arab Group this month, the Palestinian ambassador stressed the immediate need for the political will to stop the “aggression” against his people, which is he said start at the beginning of Ramadan. Mansour noted that the confrontations at the holy sites and threats to expel Palestinians from their homes in Shiekh Jarrah and Silwan accelerated the situation, and Palestinians peacefully resisted.

    He added that the massive military campaign by Israel in Gaza has resulted in 213 killed, including 61 children, 36 women, and 16 elders. He said this figure does not include more than 30 Palestinians in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, adding that some 7,000 building were damaged or destroyed in Gaza.

    Mansour stressed that these crimes require a resolve from the international to stop the aggression. He asked journalists what Palestinians should do while living under occupation, threatened to be displaced from their homes, dispossessed of their lands, living under a 14-year blockade, or living in Israel as second- or third-class citizens.

    “Often you hear some saying Israel has the right to defend itself. What rights do we have? Do we have the right to resist occupation? Do we have the right to protect our children before they go to sleep? Do we have the right to stop the illegal settlement activities and annexation? Do we have the right to express our opinion and to demonstrate peacefully in the street? Do we have the right to go to Al Aqsa mosque and to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and exercise our freedom of religion without oppression?”

    The Palestinian ambassador underscored the need to provide people in Gaza with humanitarian aid and protection. He said some 50,000 have already sought protection in UNRWA schools, adding that it was the responsibility of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to issue an emergency call for humanitarian assistance.

    Mansour said it was shameful that Security Council, which is responsible for the maintenance of peace and security, was unable to take a unified stance as many others around the world have done.

    He said “After this aggression stops, business as usual cannot be prevailing in our region. To tell us be quiet, let’s fix the Gaza strip, let us engage in talks and what have you, that will not elevate itself to what is needed. What is needed as was demonstrated by the Palestinian people on both sides of the green line and in every corner of the globe including New York, in Chicago, in Washington, in Sydney, in Malaysia, in Indonesia, in the refugee camps in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Syria, everywhere, that we cannot continue to live under this oppressive apartheid regime, that what should happen this occupation has to end, and we need to have the independence of our state with East Jerusalem as its capital where we can live with dignity and freedom. And to begin that process also of addressing all other issues facing the entire nation of the Palestinian people.”

    Asked about the refusal of the United States to allow any statement from the Security Council under the pretext that it would interfere in its efforts for a ceasefire, Mansour said this argument does not hold water.

    He said if the Biden administration could put pressure to stop the aggression against Palestinians, no one would stand in their way, but so far no one was succeeding.

    “From our side, especially here at the UN, this is the house of nations, this is the house of the vulnerable, this is the house of the weak, this is the house of the poor, if it does not rise up to help the vulnerable, to help the children, to help the refugees, to help those who are besieged, to help those who are fighting for their lands, for their homes, for their right to pray, then what is the UN’s business?”

    Mansour said, nevertheless the Palestinian people would not give up and we will not give up. He added that the Palestinian Mission’s objective is not to fight with anyone in the Security Council and continues to work with the Biden administration. He noted that the US agrees with other members of the Security Council on the need for a ceasefire but did not allow the body to adopt a position to that effect.

    Alergian ambassador Sofiane Mimouni, who currently chairs the Arab group at the UN, said horrid crimes have been committed by the occupying power. He said the UN cannot the UN cannot and should not remain silent in the face of oppression and passively condone bloodshed.

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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