His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
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I thank the Special Coordinator, Mr. Tor Wennesland, for his briefing and his efforts.
I would like to begin by noting Sunday’s meeting in Sharm El Sheikh following the Aqaba summit. This constructive engagement between the two parties could not be more urgent, and we hope it will contribute to reducing the alarming levels of violence across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This is critical as last year was the most violent year in nearly two decades, and unfortunately the beginning of this year indicates that the worst is yet to come.
To truly de-escalate the situation, the parties must commit to the joint Sharm El Sheikh communique and fully implement its parameters, including putting a stop to unliteral measures. Otherwise, we risk reaching an untenable level of violence. We value the tireless efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States of America to build trust between the parties and to help reduce tension.
Such steps are important as we enter the holy month of Ramadan, which coincides with Jewish and Christian religious observances. In the past, this critical period has often been marked by high tensions; however, especially in light of the current unrest, this can and must be avoided. It also makes it even more imperative to maintain the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip following recent clashes.
This cycle of violence is not new; it is rather the outcome of a series of illegal measures and attempts to manage the conflict rather than work towards its resolution. It is the responsibility of the international community to refuse the normalization of this ongoing escalation.
We must also send a strong unified message that underscores the importance of fully implementing relevant Council resolutions to create the necessary environment to relaunch a serious and credible peace process.
Regarding the focus on our discussion today, we affirm the need for Israel to reverse the recent passing of a bill that allows settlers to return to four settlements in the northern area of the Occupied West Bank. We also underscore the importance of compliance regarding Israel’s recent commitment to “not discuss any new settlement units for four months and to stop the authorization of any settlement outposts for 6 months”. It is imperative for Israel to fully cease all settlement activities since they constitute flagrant violations of international law and Council resolutions.
We demand Israel to immediately stop all settler violence and hold perpetrators accountable to deter further attacks, which have escalated and tripled over the past two years. The situation has grown increasingly alarming following the heinous attacks carried out by settlers against the people of Hawara village in Nablus, causing significant damage. The UAE, as part of its humanitarian efforts to Palestinian people, has recently announced the allocation of 3 million USD in support of efforts to reconstruct the village.
Israel must uphold its responsibilities in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law. Its raids against Palestinian cities and villages, such as its recent storming of Jenin and Nablus, must end. These actions resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, and these numbers have risen sharply since the beginning of this year.
We also reiterate the need to stop the demolition of Palestinian property, the rate of which has increased by 68 percent this year compared to the same period in 2022. This increase has serious implications such as the forced displacement of people, particularly from East Jerusalem.
The UAE also stresses the importance of respecting and preserving the existing legal and historical status quo of Jerusalem and its holy sites as well as the Hashemite Custodianship over the Islamic and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem.
We further call on all parties to refrain from provocative rhetoric and statements that could incite hatred and violence. The UAE rejects all practices which contradict the values of human fraternity and principles of tolerance. In this regard, we condemn inflammatory statements, including those by the Israeli Minister of Finance calling to ‘wipe out’ the village of Hawara and denying the history and existence of the Palestinian people. We also condemn his use of a “map” of Israel that purported to include lands from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Palestine.
In conclusion, the UAE affirms its continued support for the two-state solution which establishes an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel, in peace, security, and mutual recognition. We hope that calm and harmony will prevail in the coming holy period.
Thank you, Mr. President.