Representatives of many member states attended the high-level event, which took place at the UN building in New York.
In his speech here, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed that he welcomed the historic decision of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the Nakba last year.
Stating that the said decision acknowledges the historical injustice done to the Palestinian people, Abbas said, “The injustice started before 1948 and did not end there. It still continues. The Zionist discourse still rejects the Nakba.”
Stating that he believes the UN will continue to support the efforts of the Palestinian people for their legitimate rights, the right to self-determination and the right to obtain an independent state, Abbas stressed that this is necessary so that this tragedy does not cause a wound in the consciousness of humanity.
Abbas said that the occupying power Israel continues its attack and occupation against the Palestinian people, rejecting the Nakba and continuing to deny international resolutions that will allow the Palestinian people to return to their homeland.
“Not a single UN resolution has been implemented”
Noting that thousands of resolutions have been taken by the UN Security Council and the UN Security Council since 1947, Abbas said, “Not a single UN resolution has been implemented.”
“For this reason, today we officially demand that Israel either comply with these decisions or suspend the UN membership in accordance with international law and international resolutions. Because Israel is not a country that has fulfilled the UN membership conditions in the first place,” Abbas called.
Expressing that some countries remained silent about Israel’s ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people and avoided blaming Israel, Abbas said that this situation also damaged the two-state solution.
Abbas continued his words as follows:
“How long will this last? Who is preventing the functioning of your organization (UN) and the implementation of the resolutions? Why are we bowing to this double standard. Why are the Palestinians waiting for 70 years, while most of the decisions taken enter into force the next day? Why did the UK and the US directly engage in political and political action in the context of the Nakba? “They have a moral responsibility. These countries have made our people victims by introducing another identity to our homeland for their colonial goals. Without the support of these two countries, Israel would not have continued its hostilities and attacks.”
Noting that with the Balfour Declaration, they declared “Palestine lands to be lands without a society”, Abbas said, “They gave Palestine as a gift to Israel. They would have given another island. That’s why they need to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and help them return to their lands.”
Abbas stated that the discourse that Israel is “the only democratic country” in the Middle East is the biggest lie, and that this country held the Nakba in 1948 and is currently continuing its occupation with violence against the Palestinian people.
“The world remains silent”
Palestinian President Abbas said, “Israel is the only country that defends democracy despite the fact that it occupies another people. Why is this happening? Because the world remains silent. How can one invade and become a democratic country at the same time? This is a contradiction.”
Underlining that Palestine is ready to live side by side with Israel in peace and security and good neighborly relations, Abbas noted that they also support peaceful negotiations.
Noting that Israel is the party that rejects peace, Abbas said, “Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary of independence. What are they celebrating? Who invaded Israel and celebrates independence?” posed the questions.
Stating that he is also a refugee, Abbas said that the international community should ensure that Israel accepts the Nakba and said, “Israel should take responsibility for the killing, displacement and damage. The Israeli government should both apologize and provide compensation.”
“Why don’t you protect us?”
Stating that the voices rising in Israel are becoming “more and more dangerous”, Abbas stated that they are trying to reject the Palestinian people and said:
“The international community needs to take responsibility. It must end the aggression and provide protection to the Palestinian people. Every day we are attacked. Every day we voice our grievances. Every day we ask you for help for protection. Please protect us. Why don’t you protect us? Aren’t we human? You even protect animals.” Why don’t you protect us?”
Noting that Palestine should be made a full member by removing its observer status at the UN, Abbas said, “Why don’t you make us a full member? We meet all the conditions. You should be ashamed. We want you to implement the decisions. Choose even one and put it into practice. We accept it.”
Emphasizing that Palestine will maintain its unity despite all kinds of tests and the occupation will come to an end, Abbas underlined that they will never allow the 1948 events to happen again.
Abbas’ speech ended with some participants standing up, shouting “Liberate Palestine, end the occupation” and applause.
“The UN’s position is very clear”
Rosemary Dicarlo, UN Deputy Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, stated that she is following the developments with “deep concern” and said that hope for the resumption of the political process for a two-state solution in accordance with UN resolutions and international law is fading.
Pointing out that the rapid increase in settlements in the West Bank, the violence of the settlers and the forced evictions and demolitions endanger the Palestinian state, Dicarlo said, “Palestinians have the right to self-determination and independence. The UN’s position is very clear. In accordance with international law and UN resolutions. The occupation must end and a two-state solution must be established that will bring lasting peace to Israelis and Palestinians.” made its assessment.
Palestinians refer to May 15 as the “Nakba” (Great Disaster) as Israel declared its independence in the Palestinian territories occupied on May 14, 1948, and forced Palestinians to migrate.
During the Nakba, Israeli forces forcibly expelled nearly 1 million Palestinians from their lands, 675 Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed, and thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Due to the Nakba, currently 80 percent of Palestinians are living in different parts of the world as refugees.