Iran envoy says Israeli officials must be brought to justice

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi in a statement referred to the Zionist regime's acts in violation of the international principles, saying Israeli officials must be brought to justice.

"Such crimes which materially breach fundamental norms and principles of international law entail international responsibility of the Israeli regime, whose officials must therefore be brought to justice for committing such heinous crimes," Takht Ravanchi said addressing the United Nations Security Council on “Protection of civilians in armed conflict”.

The full text of Takht Ravanchi's statement is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Mr. President,

According to the Secretary-General, in his annual report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, “Globally, civilian deaths and injuries from the use of explosive weapons reportedly decreased by 43 per cent in 2020”. This is indeed good news.

Nevertheless, the bad news is that, he stated, “Armed conflict continued to be characterized by high levels of civilian death, injury and … destroyed homes, schools, markets, hospitals and essential civilian infrastructure”.

According to him, “More people were forcibly displaced”, and as an example, “In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities demolished 847 Palestinian structures (homes, water, hygiene and sanitation assets and structures used for agriculture, including 156 structures donated as humanitarian aid), displacing 996 Palestinians”.

He also reported that “Tens of thousands of children continued to be killed, maimed”, “medical personnel, transports and facilities continue to come under attack”, and “at least 169 security incidents against humanitarian workers were recorded in 19 States affected by conflict.” He also maintained that “The threat of famine resurfaced, with the worst hunger and highest risks of famine clustered in conflict-affected areas.”

In the year 2021, unfortunately, we are experiencing the worst of such cases in the Middle East, a clear example of which is the wide-scale forced displacement of Palestinian civilians from their homes and lands. While many Palestinians have already been forcibly displaced, it is estimated that around 90,000 Palestinians are at risk of evictions in the occupied East Jerusalem.

The worst is that, when the Palestinians protested against such unlawful forced eviction, including in Sheikh Jarrah, where they have lived generations after generations, and complained for the attacks on the Muslim worshipers in the Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadhan, the Israeli security and military forces committed the most brutal crimes against Palestinians.

Only in its 11-day brutal and all-out war on Gaza, Israeli forces killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly people, and wounded 1948 others. This includes 13 members of an extended family who have been killed and buried in the rubble of their own home -- many of whom were children, one as young as six months.

Additionally, Israeli forces also destroyed 30 health facilities, around 50 schools and other education facilities, some 50 per cent of the water network, 33 offices of media organizations, and damaged 43 mosques.

These barbaric acts are clear manifestations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, contravening the most prominent principles of “humanity” and “the dictates of public conscience”, upon which international humanitarian law is founded. Such crimes which materially breach fundamental norms and principles of international law, entail international responsibility of the Israeli regime, whose officials must therefore be brought to justice for committing such heinous crimes.

It is a source of grave concern that in the face of such vicious crimes, the Security Council has failed once again, due to the shameful shielding of the Israeli regime by the United States, to discharge its Charter-based mandate, and was unable to issue even the mildest press statement calling for halting the aggression against civilians in Gaza. Obviously, the Council’s press statement on 22 May, which was issued after agreement of the parties on the ceasefire, was not of much actual value.

Moreover, given that the recent war was sparked by the unlawful and provocative actions of the Israeli regime in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, particularly in Al-Aqsa mosque, that regime must be compelled to stop all such actions.

Another example of targeting civilians and civilian objects in our region is the aggression against the people of Yemen, killing more than 16,000 civilians, including more than 4,000 children and 2,500 women, wounding over 25,000 others, destroying or damaging 430,779 homes, 955 mosques, 348 health and medical centers, 917 schools and other education centers and 656 markets. Similarly, starvation of civilians has been used as a method of warfare, causing the world’s worst contemporary humanitarian crisis. All such acts are criminal, violate international law and must stop immediately.

These cases clearly indicate that while there are adequate binding rules for the protection of civilians or civilian objects in armed conflicts, non-compliance of certain parties with such norms is deliberate.

The Security Council must therefore take necessary measures to bring such practices to an immediate end, and hold their perpetrators accountable for such crimes. Otherwise, as the Council’s inaction in the past with respect to the above-mentioned crimes has emboldened the perpetrators to commit more crimes, its possible inaction in the future would further encourage them to continue violating relevant norms and principles of international law.

Likewise, other international efforts must be redoubled to further promote the full and effective application of international humanitarian law. The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to actively and constructively contribute to such efforts.

I thank you, Mr. President.

News Code 193145

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