Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First and foremost, I wish to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this important meeting to discuss the situation in Palestine. I would also like to thank the representative of the State of Palestine for updating us on the latest developments involving the people of Palestine. Unfortunately, we gather at a time when the situation in Palestine has worsened. We have witnessed more bloodshed, more loss of lives, and the continued lack of humanity.

2. Malaysia is seriously concerned with the continued violations and attacks by extremist Jewish settlers on the Al-Aqsa Mosque; the expansion of the illegal settlement in Gaza Strip; and the recent adoption of the “Jewish nation-state law”. These are belligerent actions that undermine any hope for peace and threaten the security and stability in the Palestinian territory and its people.

3. Malaysia strongly condemns all actions by the Israeli government in obstructing the path towards achieving the two-state solution, the only solution in ending the Palestine-Israel conflict. Malaysia has and always will support the struggle of the Palestinian people. Thus, it is our fervent hope that through this Committee, we will be able to continue our collective support for the Palestinian cause and find a permanent and sustainable solution to end Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

Mr. Chairman,

4. Malaysia would like to take this opportunity to commend the Government of Turkey for convening the 7th Extraordinary Islamic Summit of the OIC in Istanbul, Turkey on 18 May 2018 following the Israeli aggression over Palestinians during Nakba Day.

5. Subsequent to the adoption of the Final Communique, Malaysia calls upon all OIC Member States to implement the document, by condemning such inhumane actions and pursue all available avenues to defend Palestinian national rights from hostile and illegal actions; assess support for countries running for international posts by its position on the Palestinian question; implement necessary measures to apply economic restrictions to any entity that recognises the annexation of Al-Quds by Israel; and banning products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering our markets.

6. In addition, Malaysia would also like to see the realisation of the proposed establishment of an international independent Committee of Experts to investigate the crimes committed by Israeli forces. For the sake of the Palestinians, we express our hope that through the establishment of this Committee, justice for the Palestinian people will be upheld and the perpetrators will be held accountable and brought to justice for their brutal crimes against humanity.

Mr. Chairman

7. Malaysia has always been concerned with protecting Al-Quds Al-Sharif as a city that has religious significance to three (3) Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

8. In this regard, Malaysia would like to stress that the final status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is to be negotiated within the framework of a two-State solution. Hence, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the United States is without any legal basis nor legal validity, and is null and void as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolutions 476 (1980), 478 (1980)and Resolution 2334 (2016). This breach of international law jolts the world further to the brink of instability that unfortunately, can spark a conflict of a much wider and dangerous scale.

9. Together with all OIC Member States, Malaysia wishes to reiterate that only through the realisation of the two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security, based on the pre-1967 borders, and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, will this chapter on death and destruction end.

Mr. Chairman,

10. Malaysia takes this opportunity to also express grave concern on the recent announcements by the United States of America aggravating the situation of Palestine. The decision to cut bilateral aid to the Palestinians, cease its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and close the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington is a humiliation to the Palestinians and their struggle for their right to self-determination.

11. Further, there are presently five (5) million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. UNRWA has continuously supported those refugees by maintaining schools, health and distribution centres. Without sufficient funding, UNRWA would be unable to cater to the needs of these Palestinian refugees.

12. The positions taken by the US are counterproductive towards finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

13. In this regard, Malaysia would continue to provide assistance, within its means, to the Palestinians as well as to the works of UNRWA in providing assistance, protection and advocacy for Palestinian refugees. We therefore urge all OIC Member States to fortify their support to this Agency – so as to ensure basic needs of the Palestinian refugees are met.Mr. Chairman,

14. In conclusion, allow me to reiterate Malaysia’s unyielding commitment to the Palestinian cause. We have and will continue to stand united with the Palestinian people and their struggle, alongside the OIC and its Member States.Thank you.