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I would like to thank Mr. Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, for his comprehensive briefing.
What we heard today about the fragile humanitarian, security, and political situation in the occupied Palestinian territory underscores the necessity of actively relaunching a credible peace process that leads to the two-state solution: a State of Palestine and a State of Israel living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.
As Mr. Wennesland recently stated, current efforts must focus on providing a political context that will ensure the positive engagement we have witnessed in recent months is not squandered. Accordingly, we hope the two parties will continue to meet to build confidence and address the most pressing issues in the interest of achieving security and stability. We commend the recent increase in cooperation and coordination between the United States and the two parties in support of the Middle East Peace Process. We also welcome the recent meetings of the Quartet, and we look forward to their outcomes.
On the other hand, we stress the need to preserve the recent ceasefire for the long term to avoid another escalation as well as to support opportunities for peace. We underscore the importance of continuing to build on regional and international endeavors to end the conflict and reiterate that diplomacy and peaceful dialogue are the best options to achieve tangible progress.
Creating an environment conducive to peace requires protecting the prospects for a two-state solution and stopping illegal practices in the occupied Palestinian territory. To this end, we note the continued construction and expansion of settlements, including the recent construction of new settlement units in the West Bank, as well as the continued displacement of Palestinians, especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. It is also important to note the continued confiscation and demolition of Palestinian homes and structures, in addition to the obstruction of the movement of Palestinians, exacerbating the humanitarian and economic conditions.
In this context, Israel should assume its responsibilities in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. We also reiterate the need to preserve the legal and historical status of Jerusalem and to respect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s guardianship over its holy places.
Regarding the difficult conditions of the Palestinian people, we stress the need for the international community and United Nations agencies to continue taking concrete measures to respond to the escalating humanitarian needs. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, two out of five Palestinians will require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2022. As for the Gaza Strip, it particularly suffers from a great shortage in development, food, and health aid due to its collapsing infrastructure, in addition to the unemployment rate which is reaching 44%.
Accordingly, the UAE continues to provide aid to the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip. Recently, our efforts have also focused on helping Palestinians combat the pandemic, including by providing support to Gaza hospitals.
In conclusion, I reiterate the UAE’s firm commitment, which is in line with the Arab position, to achieving the independence of a sovereign Palestinian state based on the borders of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative, and other agreed international references.