Delivered By Mrs. Amierah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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I thank the Special Coordinator, Mr. Tor Wennesland, for his briefing and for presenting the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2334, which paints a bleak picture of the current situation on the ground.
The Middle East region needs to urgently see a fundamental positive transformation that will spare its people from the hardships of conflicts and crises. This shift is necessary to ensure that everyone in the region can effectively respond to global challenges and support development efforts, thereby contributing to the maintenance of regional and international peace and security.
Achieving regional stability is not possible without reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, in accordance with the international references, so that an independent Palestinian State is established based on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel, in peace, security, and mutual recognition. In this regard, the UAE will continue to support all peaceful initiatives aimed at realizing these aspirations. We also welcome the reference made by the Prime Minister of the State of Israel during his statement at the High-Level Week of the General Assembly regarding his support for the vision of the two-State solution.
We look forward to seeing intensified efforts to create a suitable political environment that paves the way for the resumption of serious political negotiations between the two parties on final status issues.
We also emphasize the need for the parties to act urgently, give priority to dialogue, and engage in good faith to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. Today’s meeting provides an opportunity for the Council to send an important message about the need for self-restraint and the importance of refraining from any unilateral measure that may inflame the precarious situation, especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Recent reports reference Israel’s announcement of a plan to build 560 new settlement units in the southern part of East Jerusalem, specifically on lands considered to be a “buffer zone” of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We reiterate here our firm position that settlement activity undermines the two-State solution and constitutes a flagrant violation of both international law and the relevant resolutions of this Council. We also affirm the need to stop attacks carried out by settlers against Palestinian communities. This includes attacks on agricultural crops, which many families depend on as a primary source of income. We note this particularly as the olive harvest season approaches – a period that witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in attacks last year.
As students return to school this month, we stress the right of Palestinian children to access education without obstacles or intimidation. In conflict settings, educational institutions are particularly important for empowering generations to effectively contribute to building and advancing their communities. The maintenance of educational facilities is equally important. According to OCHA reports, as of August there were 56 pending demolition orders for schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that provide educational services to more than 6000 children.
We also stress the need to continue responding to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, and we welcome last week’s meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, chaired by Norway, in this regard.
In conclusion, the UAE reaffirms its firm commitment to support the Palestinian people. At every possible opportunity, we will continue to provide education and health assistance, and we hope that future Palestinian generations will one day enjoy security and peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.