United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People

by Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa

29 November 2020

Dear Friends and Collegues,
It is an honour for me to be in South Africa - a land characterised by the isiZulu expression “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” It means “a person is a person through other people. I am, because you are.” A common humanity is needed more than ever as the world is confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

I address you on the occasion of the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People which is commemorated every year on 29th November. The United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a stark reminder to the world that Israel’s occupation of Palestine continues and that the Palestinian people have yet to attain their state. We remain trapped in a non-state with no rights, land or citizenship.

Israel’s occupation of Palestine is more entrenched than ever. Despite Covid-19 lockdown regulations, more and more Palestinian land has been confiscated in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Attacks by Israeli soldiers and settlers on Palestinian communities continue unchecked; restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement have been intensified and the siege of the Gaza Strip tightened.

Despite decades of disappointment and setbacks, however, we remain committed to a multilateral order that respects and ensures respect for international law.

We remain particularly inspired by Africa’s liberation struggle and its former leaders. Africa’s solidarity – along with the rest of the Global South – is a vital pillar in our struggle against colonisation and occupation.

We urge you not to veer from your legacies of fighting for global justice, and to continue supporting the occupied and colonised Palestinian people. We hope that through international co-operation, justice for Palestine can be achieved.