Kuwait: Kuwait has expressed strong rejection of, and opposition to, the panel display held at the UN depicting Occupied East Jerusalem as “The Spiritual and Physical Capital of the Jewish People”.

Acting on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al Otaibi, the OIC Chair, affirmed in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that displaying such a portrait, especially at the United Nations, was “legally, politically and morally wrong,” Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.

Al Otaibi said the act directly challenged the international legal principle prohibiting the acquisition of territory by force as well as numerous United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that have clearly determined that East Jerusalem, the rest of the Palestinian territory and other Arab lands occupied by Israel in June 1967 remained occupied and “in no way is Israel sovereign over these territories.”

“Both the Security Council and General Assembly have rejected Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem via the extension of its so-called “Basic Law” in 1980 and have condemned all policies and practices by Israel, the occupying power, that attempted to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and deemed them to be null and void in accordance with international law, including in particular international humanitarian law,” Al Otaibi wrote.

Moreover, the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations has reaffirmed the illegality of all such Israeli measures in this regard as well as the status of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as occupied, he added.

Kuwait’s representative called on the international community to reiterate that it is axiomatic that Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territory is illegal and inherently temporary and does not in any way lend the occupying power sovereignty or title over the occupied territory, the official news agency said.

“Israel’s status in that Territory remains that of an occupying power with specific obligations towards the people and properties under occupation as per the Fourth Geneva Convention, and other relevant rules of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions,” he wrote in the letter.

Al Otaibi added that the act of allowing the display of such a panel abrogates the obligations and responsibilities of the United Nations, which has emphasised at various junctures, as noted above, that East Jerusalem remains an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The OIC protested the exhibit for “misleading and inappropriate depictions of Jerusalem at the United Nations,” and expressed that this display should not be permitted anywhere on United Nations premises.

With Israel’s disrespect of international law, especially Security Council Resolution 478 for 1980, which does not recognise its annexation of East Jerusalem, Al Otaibi affirmed that such act should be rejected, not tolerated or appeased.

The OIC called in its letter for the prompt removal of the controversial panel, considered an affront to the member states of the OIC, including the State of Palestine, and the majority of other member states that respect international law, the applicable rules and legislation regarding this ongoing tragic conflict.

The Palestinian representation at the UN also voiced, in a separate letter, its “strong objection to such an exhibit of misleading and inappropriate depiction of Jerusalem, which negates the Palestinian existence in the city, as well as it is historical Arab, Muslim and Christian identity and heritage.”