'Israeli occupation core of all conflicts in Middle East'

'Israeli occupation core of all conflicts in Middle East'

Iran's ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations says the Israel regime's occupation of the Palestinian land is at the "core" of all conflicts in the Middle East.

"The injustice has been continuing for more than seven decades, exacerbated through Israeli expansionist, aggressive and apartheid policies towards Palestinians and the region," Es'haq Al-e Habib said in an address to the UN Security Council Open Debate on “Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question” on Thursday.

He added that the Tel Aviv regime is currently making all efforts to dismiss all the rights of Palestinian statehood and entrench the occupation.

"The fast growing illegal settlements in the Palestinian territory constitutes not only a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention but also a war crime that is another clear indication that the Israeli regime has never had any interest in peace," the Iranian diplomat said.

Earlier this month, Israeli officials approved plans for the construction of more than 2,200 new settler units in the occupied West Bank irrespective of the international outcry against the Tel Aviv regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in Palestinian lands.

Israel's minister of military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, has agreed to settlement expansion activities in Palestinian territories, and Israeli authorities are going to issue permits for the construction of 900 housing units at Ariel settlement in the central West Bank, Israel's Hebrew-language Channel 10 television network reported.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian envoy condemned the "provocative, illegal and politically wrong" decision by the US to recognize al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime.

"The destructive role of the US in international conflicts, particularly in the Middle East, is incontestable. The United States has never been an honest partner for peace and justice in this conflict, and it will never be," Al-e Habib added.

On December 6, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The United Nations General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli “capital.”

Al-e Habib further pointed to other contributors to the instability of the Middle East and said, "Any foreign intervention, occupation and ensuing instabilities and attempts to engineer societies in the Middle East, proved to provide breeding grounds for terrorist and extremist groups to grow."

He expressed regret over attempts by the US and Israeli regime to promote Iranophobia and said, "This has become a kind of ongoing obsession and hysteria for them."

"This hysteria is being actively perpetuated by those willing to sell or spend their dollars on American beautiful weapons."

The ambassador emphasized that at a time that Iran was helping the Iraqi and Syrian people fight and defeat Daesh terrorist group, Washington and some of its allies were busy arming it.

He once again expressed the Islamic Republic's support for the Palestinian people who are facing mounting Israeli aggression.

"Iran reaffirms its longstanding solidarity with the Palestinian people, recognizing their decades of resilience despite so much suffering and injustice," Al-e Habib said.

He also reiterated Iran's "strong support for their legitimate and inalienable rights, including to self-determination and freedom in an independent and viable State of Palestine, with al-Quds as its capital."


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