I would also like to express my appreciation to Ambassador Nelson Messone, Permanent Representative of Gabon, for his exemplary leadership of the Council during the past month. I would also like to thank Mr. Robert Serry for his comprehensive briefing.
Two and a half years after the end of Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, we are, once again, witnessing a surge in violence in and around Gaza. The worrisome situation requires the Council to take urgent and appropriate action, in accordance with its resolution 1860 (2009), in order to protect the civilians in that overpopulated Palestinian territory. As well, the illegal economic blockade of Gaza must be lifted and a durable ceasefire ensured. Efforts aimed at achieving Palestinian reconciliation carried out around the leadership of President Abbas, as called for in resolution 1860 (2009), should also be supported. Undoubtedly these basic measures are vital to stabilizing the situation and establishing peace.
The stalemate in the peace process is unacceptable at a time when so many have pinned their hopes on September and the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly. Now, more than ever, the Council must act resolutely to bring about a peaceful settlement to the question of Palestine. In that regard, it should be recalled that the Quartet Road Map, which the Council endorsed in its resolution 1515 (2003), has already set out the necessary requirements, including refraining from any action that might undermine confidence between the parties.
The Council will thus agree with me that a call for the resumption of negotiations must necessarily be accompanied by measures to compel Israel to abide strictly by its obligations under international law. Indeed, inaction on the part of the Council further invites Israel to intensify its illegal policies, as evidenced by the explosive growth of Israeli settlements.
The Council is aware, however, that that the ultimate objective of the settlement project is to consolidate Israeli control over the occupied Palestinian territory and make it impossible to achieve a two-State solution based on the June 1967 borders, as called for by President Obama in his speech of 19 May.
Furthermore it is deplorable and even frustrating that the Quartet’s much-anticipated meeting did not lead to a decision on clear parameters, similar to those endorsed by the European Union, to guide Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Since the last open debate of the Council on the Palestinian question (S/PV.6520), our Committee has made every effort to promote a solution that would rest on the existence of two States and establish peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In that connection, the Committee held the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People in Helsinki, in April, to mobilize international support for the Palestinian State-building programme. In that connection, it is widely agreed that the Palestinian Authority has succeeded in establishing sound public institutions.
Similarly, in Brussels in June, the Committee convened the United Nations International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, to take stock of European and other international and multilateral initiatives aimed at achieving a two-State solution. Our Committee is also heartened by the growing number of States recognizing Palestine.
We are also mindful that the Road Map includes other multilateral options, including, in the context of the United Nations, promoting the achievement of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Today, perhaps more than ever, the Security Council has a particular role to play in achieving this shared but often delayed goal.
In this manner, and by acting with strong political will and courage, we can achieve justice for both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. This has been the stated aim of the United Nations since 1975, which our Committee strives to achieve.