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48. Furthermore, 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 Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/2010/13), mentioned in a footnote to the nineteenth preambular paragraph of the draft resolution, conveniently omitted any reference to the extensive cooperation that existed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in many fields. The report also ignored Israel’s decision — which had been welcomed by the international community, including the Quartet — to allow more goods into the Gaza Strip, with the exception of weapons and war materiel, and the establishment of a joint task force by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to implement coordinated projects in the Gaza Strip under the international community’s supervision.
49. In what had become an all-too-predictable exercise, the sponsors of the draft resolution were hijacking the Council, in order to promote an agenda that sought to demonize Israel, delegitimize Israeli democracy and block any prospects for peace. Peace required political risks and difficult compromises. Adoption of the draft resolution would have no tangible benefits for Palestinians and her delegation urged Council members to vote against it.
50. Mr. Sammis (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that his Government was in favour of improving the economic and social condition of the Palestinian people and had made support for the Palestinian Authority’s two-year plan to build and reform institutions and develop a sound economy, together with its European and international partners, a top priority. The United States was working to improve people’s lives in the West Bank, in Gaza and in the Palestinian refugee camps and believed that those efforts were critical to peace and complemented efforts in the area of negotiations.
51. Since the Council’s previous consideration of the issue, Israel had significantly facilitated such efforts by reducing the number of checkpoints and barriers. That move, combined with sound fiscal policies by the Palestinian Authority, international support and improving security and rule of law, had led to impressive economic growth in various Palestinian cities. More Palestinians in the West Bank were finding jobs, starting businesses and reversing economic stagnation.
52. Increased access in Gaza, announced on 20 June 2010, was already having positive effects, as more and better goods entered the markets prices were falling, as was the demand for products smuggled through tunnels. United Nations reports had noted that much more needed to be done, and Member States should do their utmost to promote an atmosphere of cooperation and to encourage those trends.
53. His Government’s efforts to bring about a just and fair resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were at a sensitive point. His delegation was therefore perplexed by the draft resolution that had emerged from negotiations within the Council. Support for a two-State solution involved fair and respectful treatment for both parties, acknowledging their positive steps and avoiding one-sided criticism. The draft resolution, which had been presented with little advance notice, was unbalanced and criticized the economic impact of Israeli security measures while ignoring the terrorist activities that gave rise to them. Assumptions had been made about issues that should be the subject of negotiations, and credit was not given to Israel where it was due.
54. His delegation regretted that it had no option but to vote against the resolution. The United States remained committed to working with other members of the Quartet and with States in the region towards the goal of two States, living side-by-side in peace and security. The international community must help both parties to maintain progress towards that shared objective.
55. Ms. Deman (Belgium), speaking on behalf of Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in explanation of vote before the voting, said that although the Israeli Government’s announcement of its review of its Gaza policy had been welcomed by the European Union, its implementation of the commitments made would be important. International humanitarian law must be respected and civilian populations protected in accordance with that law. Her delegation would therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution.
56. Mr. Van der Velden (Observer for the Netherlands) stressed that the representative of Belgium had not spoken on behalf of the European Union, but only of the 10 countries specifically mentioned in her explanation of vote.
57. A recorded vote was taken.
59. Mr. Windsor (Australia) said that his delegation was deeply concerned at the economic and social situation in the Palestinian territories. In support of the peace process, it had contributed to the development of Palestinian institutions and, since late 2007, had provided over US$ 125 million in humanitarian assistance to schools and health clinics, thereby assisting the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to meet the recovery and reconstruction needs of its people and to build the institutions necessary for statehood.
60. His delegation’s decision to vote against the draft resolution reflected its concern that political issues had been unnecessarily brought before the Council. The draft resolution did not reflect the responsibility of all parties to address the situation and did not contribute constructively to the goal of a negotiated solution to the conflict or to improvement of the situation on the ground. His delegation had made clear that it strongly supported efforts to achieve a comprehensive and ensuring peace, based on a two-State solution. It welcomed the proximity talks mediated by the United States and urged the parties to use them as a step towards direct negotiations and to refrain from actions that undermined trust. All countries had the responsibility to support those efforts.
61. Mr. St. Aimee (Saint Lucia) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution because, like the resolution on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories, it was concerned with the well-being of persons, under occupation or colonialism. However, both resolutions raised political concerns that the Council was not best suited to address and it was to be hoped that in the future, they would be adopted by consensus after the negotiation of language acceptable to all delegations.
62. Ms. Barghouti (Observer for Palestine) said that the economic, social and humanitarian conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, had been worsening, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip. That tragic humanitarian crisis required the international community to take urgent and concrete action in order to bring substantial improvements to the situation on the ground.
63. The adoption of the draft resolution by an overwhelming majority as a result of constructive and serious engagement by many delegations, including the European Union, was not just a step in that direction but a reflection of the international community’s concern at the dire situation in occupied Palestine and the hardship that the Palestinians had had to endure under the Israeli military occupation for more than 43 years. The resolution’s importance lay in the message that it sent to the Palestinian people: the international community recognized the real economic and social hardships that they suffered as a result of the oppressive and brutal occupation. Henceforth, concrete measures must be adopted in order to alleviate the hardships faced by the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip, so that they could persevere until the occupation ended and peace was achieved.
64. She was grateful to the delegation of Egypt for introducing the draft resolution and to the delegations that had sponsored and voted in favour of it for their efforts to ensure broad support. Her delegation appreciated the continued efforts of United Nations and other agencies working in the field, as well as those of donor countries, to provide assistance and support to her people and to support the Palestinian National Authority’s endeavours to establish the foundations of the state-building process.