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18. Mr. Djacta (Observer for Algeria), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that he wished to have Palestine, which was a member of the Group of 77 and China but not a Member State of the United Nations, added as a sponsor of the resolution.
19. The President said that the draft resolution had no programme budget implications.
20. Ms. Robl (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that, as in previous years, the draft resolution was one-sided and failed to take a constructive approach that would advance the prospects of peace. Her Government had been working tirelessly to bring about a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Council should focus on creating an environment conducive to renewed peace talks; support for a two-State solution meant supporting both parties, treating them fairly and with respect, expressly acknowledging the positive steps taken by both of them and not singling out one of them for criticism.
21. The United States was the largest bilateral donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) and contributed significantly to other United Nations programmes providing assistance to the Palestinian people. It remained deeply engaged with the situation in Gaza and would continue to work with the Palestinian Authority, Israel and international partners to improve the lives of Palestinians. It was committed to working with the Quartet and regional States to restart direct talks on the core issues with a view to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-State solution that established a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine living in peace and security alongside a secure, Jewish and democratic State of Israel. However, owing to the unbalanced nature of the resolution, her delegation had no choice but to vote against it.
22. A recorded vote was taken.
24. Mr. White (Australia) said that his delegation had moved from its customary negative vote to an abstention out of concern for the economic and social well-being of the Palestinian people. It supported the call for the development of Palestinian national institutions and recognized the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, especially Gaza. His delegation was also troubled by the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He stressed, however, that Israel’s security concerns were legitimate and the rocket attacks and weapons smuggling must stop. The only way to end the conflict was to find a solution that allowed a secure Israel to live side by side in peace and security with an independent Palestinian State.
25. Mr. Ó Conaill (Ireland) speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that while the delegation of Palestine had shown great flexibility during negotiations on the text of the resolution, the European Union believed that the political aspects of the problem were best addressed within the framework of the General Assembly. He stressed the responsibility of all parties to take steps to improve the social and economic condition of the people of Gaza and, while fully recognizing Israel’s legitimate security needs, called for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of border crossings to allow the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip. He reiterated the full support of the European Union for a two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.
26. Ms. Morgan (Mexico) said that, as on previous occasions, her delegation had voted in favour of the resolution and had deep concerns about the repercussions of the occupation for the human rights and sustainable development of the Palestinians. She called on the Quartet to intensify efforts to restart direct negotiations, which were the only way to renew the peace process.
27. Mr. Morrill (Canada) said that his delegation had voted against the resolution because of its frustration with the large number of unbalanced resolutions on the Middle East that had been introduced.
28. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that affirmations of Palestinian rights such as those contained in the resolution were more meaningful than ever in the face of Israel’s ongoing and escalating illegal policies and practices and blatant contempt for the United Nations and international processes. The adherence of Member States to the fundamental principles of international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, had helped to alleviate the grave inequities and injustices imposed on the Palestinian people in over 45 years of occupation as they struggled for an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital on the basis of the pre-1967 borders. The resolve of Member States had preserved the prospects for a two-State solution even as its viability was being eroded by continued Israeli settlement activity.
29. It was imperative for the international community to demand that Israel cease its illegal, expansionist campaign immediately and comply fully with its obligations under international law. Far from being biased, the resolution merely provided a small glimpse of the tragedy inflicted on the Palestinian people by Israel under the occupation. She thanked the delegations that had voted for right over might, thereby sending a strong message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
30. Ms. Davidovitch (Observer for Israel) said her delegation was disappointed that, once again, Israel was the only country to be singled out for biased treatment under an item on the Council’s agenda. The resolution was politically motivated and factually flawed; it wasted the Council’s valuable time and resources and undermined its credibility.
31. The reality was that per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in Gaza had grown by 20 per cent in 2011 and unemployment was at its lowest level in 10 years. Gaza’s exports were growing rapidly and not a single civilian good was prevented from entering the area. The cause of the crisis was the rule of Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that was not mentioned in the resolution, which attacked the crossings used to transfer humanitarian aid and then complained about shortages and delays. Hamas used Palestinian schools as launching pads and had fired over 200 rockets into southern Israel in the past two months alone, most recently into the city of Ashkelon, which was home to over 100,000 people. Yet Israel continued to provide humanitarian assistance and to cooperate with international organizations in the very areas from which its citizens were being attacked.
32. A thriving Palestinian economy was in Israel’s interests. The West Bank’s public and manufacturing sectors had grown and its economy was relatively stable despite the ongoing global economic and financial crisis. Israel had the same vital interests as its neighbours, including the environment, public health, sanitation, agriculture and women’s empowerment. The many existing mechanisms would be more effective if the Palestinian Authority cooperated with Israel on those issues and met its commitments under bilateral agreements. The sponsors of the resolution were promoting an agenda that sought to demonize Israel and were not serving the interests of the Palestinian people.
33. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that Israel was being singled out in resolutions because it was the only occupying Power in the world. When the occupation ended, so would the resolutions.
34. The President said that if there was no objection, he would take it that the Council wished to take note of the note by the Secretary-General on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/2012/13-A/67/91).
35. It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 4.05 p.m.