Check against delivery

I would like to thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Tor Wennesland, for his comprehensive briefing and for presenting the twenty-first report on the implementation of resolution 2334.

Our discussion today comes as the region approaches the month of Ramadan as well as other upcoming holy occasions for the three Abrahamic religions. These occasions represent an opportunity to promote the values of peaceful coexistence between different religions. As Mr. Wennesland said, we hope that this coming period will be one of calm — in contrast to the traumatic events that occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territory at this time last year. We also support his call to the concerned parties to work to reduce tensions, especially in Jerusalem city, and refrain from taking any action that may increase tensions and escalation. This would also require the parties to take proactive and coordinated efforts to consolidate and preserve the basis of the recent truce.

In this regard, my country appreciates Jordan’s efforts under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II to reach a common understanding that secure calm and peace during the upcoming period. While we call on all parties to exercise restraint, especially in light of other tensions in the region, we stress the need to respect the freedom of Palestinians to practice their religious rites and the seriousness of violating them or violating the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We also commend the efforts of the Arab Republic of Egypt to resume the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip and to maintain calm there.

With regard to the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334, reports confirm that we have witnessed an upsurge in settlement activities in recent years that significantly affect the lives of the Palestinian population and constitute a violation of international law. Particularly concerning is the continued settler violence in the OPT. We express further concern over the persistent forced displacement of Palestinians and the demolition and confiscation of their homes and properties. Such acts only further worsen Palestinians’ humanitarian conditions and undermine development efforts. We support Special Coordinator Wennesland’s call to halt all such practices and preserve the prospect of a two-State solution whereby Israel must uphold its responsibilities in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions.

As part of presidency’s pledge to shed light on the pandemic which started two years ago, we would like to note that a mere 49 percent of Palestinians in the OPT have been vaccinated against COVID-19, which requires addressing the challenges that prevent reaching the desired vaccination rate.

We stress the need to empower Palestinian women in all sectors and support projects and programs that respond to their needs, given their important role in promoting stability and development, as well as the conflict’s disproportionate impact on them.

Similarly, we emphasize the important role of youth in laying the foundation for peace and reinforcing the values of peaceful coexistence among the two peoples. Realizing these objectives requires tapping into their potential and investing in their capabilities to enable them to build a brighter future that serves them and their communities.

In conclusion, the UAE reaffirms its historic commitment to support an independent, sovereign State of Palestine based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and other agreed international references. Genuine efforts are needed to relaunch a credible peace process, which will lead to the achievement of a two-state solution, with the State of Palestine living side by side with Israel, in peace and security, and under mutual recognition.