I would also like to express my appreciation to Mr. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, for today’s excellent briefing, in which he vividly described the volatile situation on the ground, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and called on the international community to engage with the parties to create conditions conducive to the resumption of the peace process.
The recent upsurge in violence in the occupied Palestinian territories , particularly the Gaza Strip, is a cruel reminder of how tense and fragile the situation remains. The rocket fire by Palestinian militants and reprisals by Israeli forces have claimed numerous victims, most of them Palestinian civilians. Our Committee calls on the parties to refrain from all provocation and to act responsibly, and unequivocally condemns all attacks on civilians, who urgently require protection.
We are hopeful that the Council will assume its Charter responsibilities by acting as resolutely and with the same vigour as it has in other ongoing conflict situations. It must also redouble its efforts to ensure the full implementation of its resolution 1860 (2009) in order to end the Gaza blockade and restrictions on the freedom of persons and goods, and to promote inter-Palestinian reconciliation.
We look forward to the resumption of serious direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on all permanent status issues before the September target date set by the Quartet. In that respect, we call on the Quartet to speedily endorse the recent initiative of the United Kingdom, France and Germany to restart negotiations leading to the signing of an agreement on Jerusalem as the capital of two States, Israel and Palestine, founded on the basis of the borders of June 1967; to the reaffirmation of the illegality of settlements; to a just, consensual solution to the refugee question; and to security arrangements ending the Israeli occupation.
The negotiations will succeed only if the parties implement in good faith their road map obligations, in particular a complete freeze of all Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories , including so-called natural growth. I take this opportunity to register our disappointment with the Council’s lack of leadership on this important issue, and its unwillingness to reaffirm its previous positions and to adopt the pertinent draft resolution, which enjoyed vast support among Member States. Israel’s unfortunate recent approval of over 900 additional housing units in Gilo in East Jerusalem illustrates the fact that the issue is not going away. It is the Council’s Charter and moral obligation to intervene.
We are pleased to note the recognition of the State of Palestine by numerous Member States. These countries and many others are supporting the Palestinian Authority’s programme to build the State by September. The United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have confirmed that the Palestinians now have the institutional structure necessary to administer their own State.
Since the most recent open debate of the Council under this agenda item (see S/PV.6484), our Committee has held international meetings in Vienna and Montevideo devoted to achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace. We remain fully committed to and will continue to promote the objective of a two-State solution, in conformity with Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, whereby Israel and the State of Palestine will live side by side in peace and security. The United Nations and its Security Council have a very special responsibility to ensure the realization of this vision. I assure the Council of the Committee’s cooperation and support in the implementation of its own resolutions on the Palestinian question.