Ambassador Hisham Badr, Egypt’s permanent representative to the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, has confirmed Cairo’s full support for the establishment of an international fact-finding committee to investigate the impact of Israeli settlements on Palestinian human rights. A proposal for the committee was submitted by the two Arabic and Islamic groups on the UN Human Rights Council.
Badr’s announcement came in a speech to the latest session of the Council to discuss the developments of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. The Egyptian representative said that any talk about the latest developments in the Middle East should not ignore the increasing suffering of the Palestinian people and the population in the occupied Arab territories due to the ongoing Israeli occupation.
“The Israelis are an obstacle to the fundamental rights of the Palestinians,” he argued, “especially the right to self-determination and their right to establish their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.” This right, he said, exists without needing permission or approval from Israel, the occupying power which stands in defiance of all the international resolutions on the issue.
“Egypt renews its call to the Council to carry its responsibilities in this regard, taking into consideration the historical transformations witnessed in the region which must be extended to include the fulfilment of the Palestinians’ right to freedom.”
Ambassador Badr stressed that Egypt “has not and will not spare any effort to support the Palestinian people to achieve their legitimate demands and recover their rights”. He noted that Egypt’s mediation in the exchange of prisoners deal last year and the current truce in Gaza is “fully consistent” with this.
In closing, the ambassador said that the UN Human Rights Council has “direct legal and moral responsibility to work on the release of the Palestinian political detainees in Israeli prisons, to stop the Judaisation of Jerusalem, and to end the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.”