The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question



Mr. President,
Let me begin by thanking Lynn Hasting, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) for her comprehensive briefing, which highlighted the efforts by the United Nations and other stakeholders in bringing
lasting peace to the Middle East region. Ghana also associates itself with the statement that would be delivered by the representative of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In furtherance of Ghana’s firm and long-held belief, we reiterate our call on Israel and Palestine, as well as the countries in the region, to commit to a negotiated, just, and peaceful resolution of the protracted conflict with a view to pacifying the region and assuring for all countries, an equal measure of security, freedom, opportunity, and dignity.
We are, therefore concerned about the worsening security and humanitarian situation, in the region. Since March, at least 52 Palestinians suspected to be armed fighters but also including non-combatants have been killed in the Occupied West Bank. We are equally concerned by the death in Israel of 19 persons mostly civilians and condemn all such violence.
We believe that the growing insecurity in the Middle East, especially the West Bank does not augur well for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and accordingly urge the parties to deescalate existing tensions and build confidence to generate political momentum for negotiations.
We call for maximum restraint and urge both Israel and Palestine to refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and prejudice the mutual trust urgently needed to stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground. Ghana is concerned about the activities of Israeli settlers in the six locations across the occupied West Bank, including in locations such as Ramallah, Salfit and Hebron.
We urge Israel, to respect the inalienable rights of all those in the West Bank and the Occupied Territories, and abide by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  We also encourage Israel to protect the religious freedom of all, as well as implement measures to ensure the viability of the historic Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities in Palestine, Israel, and the entire region.
Mr, President,
In concluding, we reiterate our position that the path for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East runs through the internationally negotiated two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side on the basis of the 1967 borders. The realization of goals for the Middle East Process however, require the Council and the wider international community to sustain the engagement of the parties whose good-faith efforts are required to resolve this decades-long conflict.
I thank you for your kind attention