Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

London, 27 July 2023

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

I would like to start by thanking ASG Khiari for his briefing today.

I have three brief points to make.

First, we are alarmed by rising violence across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which this month culminated in Israel’s operation in Jenin.

153 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli Security Forces in the West Bank since January, more than the entirety of those killed in 2022. We support the Palestinian Authority’s independent role in securing Area A of the West Bank, as agreed in the Oslo Accords.

We urge Israel to support the Palestinian Authority in this endeavour and work collaboratively to ensure the safety and protection of civilians across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We reiterate our condemnation of all indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including recent terror attacks in Tel Aviv and Kdumim.

We are appalled by the unprecedented scale of settlement advancement in Area C of the West Bank, which we urge Israel to reverse. Settlements are illegal under international law, raise tensions, and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution.

We also urge Israel to uphold its responsibility to protect Palestinian communities in Area C, particularly from rising settler violence that has recently led to violence in Turmusaya and the relocation of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al-Baqa.

We are concerned by the forced eviction of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem. We urge Israel to desist from further settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions.

Third, the UK is concerned by the provocative visit and inflammatory language used by Israeli ministers at the Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount, today. We reaffirm our support for the historic status quo and Jordan’s role as custodians.

The UK calls for all actors to respect the sanctity of the holy sites and avoid actions which undermine the cause of peace.

Finally, the UK underlines our firm support to UNRWA, which has a stabilising impact on the region. We call on members of the Council to ensure critical funding gaps are filled, so that vital services continue to be provided to Palestinian refugees.

All Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace and security and this can only be achieved through a two-state solution.

Source – UK Government
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