Delivered By: H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
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At the outset, I would like to thank you for your prompt response to the request made by my country and several other Council members to hold this emergency session to discuss the latest developments in Gaza. I also thank Mr. Tor Wennesland for his important briefing and commend his continued de-escalation efforts.
We in the UAE reiterate our deep concern over recent violence in the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, including fifteen children. We stress the need for all parties to abide by their responsibilities under international law and international humanitarian law, particularly regarding the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure to spare them from the harm of violent confrontations. The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza cannot bear more shocks.
We welcome the entry into of force of the truce on Sunday evening, local time, following Egyptian mediation. We express our sincere appreciation to our brothers in Egypt, led by His Excellency President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, for their intensive efforts and continuous engagement that culminated in the agreement to halt escalation and restore calm.
We would also like to stress the importance of all parties exercising maximum restraint, as well as our rejection of all forms of extremism and terrorism, to avoid being drawn into new levels of violence and instability. We also note the centrality of continued Egyptian mediation efforts as well as regional and international support to end the recurring cycles of violence that worsen the suffering of the Palestinians. This also requires that the parties to the conflict have a genuine will to satisfy both peoples’ desire for peace. We agree with the Special Coordinator’s comments regarding the importance of maintaining progress made toward the gradual opening of Gaza crossings. These measures have the potential to contribute to the revival of Gaza’s fragile economy and respond to the humanitarian needs of the population, including the restoration of the health and services sectors. We hope they will be resumed.
We condemn the storming of the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by groups of extremists, who also engaged in provocative practices. We also recall the importance of preserving the existing historical and legal status of the holy places in the city of Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, as well as the importance of respecting the Jordanian custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites.
It is not possible to talk about a lasting peace in the region without a resolution to the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution. Therefore, we see the necessity of resuming international efforts to find a just, comprehensive, and peaceful solution in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions, which ensures dignity, security, and stability for all parties. From this standpoint, we affirm that the situation will potentially remain explosive in the absence of a real political will on the part of the parties to resume negotiations and break the deadlock in the peace process.
In conclusion, the UAE reiterates its readiness to support all regional and international efforts aimed at advancing the peace process in the Middle East and achieving the two-state solution through the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, Madrid References, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Thank you, Mr. President.