UN Security Council The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING AND CONSULTATIONS ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST-THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
At the outset let me thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Tor Wennesland, for his important briefing to the Council this morning as required by resolution 2334. I also thank him for highlighting the measures being undertaken by United Nations (UN) and other stakeholders to restore calm between the key parties and to work towards a peaceful solution of the protracted conflict, which has negatively impacted not only Israel and Palestine, but the entire Middle East region. The report of the Special Coordinator to the Council is quite troubling. It reflects a further departure from the Council’s expectation in 2016 that its decision for the Israeli cessation of settlement activities would have been complied with in facilitation of peace and security necessary to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues within the Middle East Peace Process.
My delegation is particularly concerned by the report that the period under review has seen the highest increase in the number of settlement activities since October 2020 and deeply regrets the 12 May decision of the Israeli authorities to approve plans to move forward and build over 4,000 housing units in various locations in the West Bank. Equally of concern is the risk of the forced eviction of about 1,200 Palestinians, including over 500 children from a cluster of Palestinian villages in the West Bank known as “Masafer Yatta”.
We therefore call for utmost restraint in settlement activities which, as all of us can observe, do not enhance the security of Israel nor the prospects for peace and stability. In this regard, we recall the Israeli authorities duty to take significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, especially against advancement projects, evictions and demolitions which undermines the prospects for a two-state solution.
Also, we express our concern over the recent spate of killings of more than 60 Palestinians and call on the Israeli authorities to thoroughly investigate all instances of alleged disproportionate use of force against Palestinians in accordance with its obligations and responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Accountability is necessary to repair broken trust necessary for direct negotiations between the parties.
The Middle East Peace Process cannot also be brought back on track in an environment of insecurity, instability, and mistrust. The recent spate of terrorism in Israel therefore cannot under any
circumstances be considered useful to the Palestinian cause. We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all such acts of terrorism and aver that there cannot be any justification good enough to overlook such acts. We encourage the leadership of the parties to demonstrate a zero tolerance for such acts as well as for all forms of violence. As a Council, we have a responsibility to assist the parties to adopt measures that would help to deescalate the situation on the ground when they themselves are unable to do so and in a way that enhances peace and stability. In this regard, we must live up to our historical responsibility for the benefit of both the Palestinian and Israel people who deserve to live in peace and side-by-side as envisaged in the two State solution.
In concluding, therefore, Ghana calls on both parties to show maximum restraint and refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and prejudice the peace and mutual trust that are urgently needed to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, and (ii) to create the conditions of peace and stability necessary for subsequent negotiations and for reinvigorating credible negotiations for the two-State solution and all final status issues within the Middle East Peace Process.
I thank you for your kind attention