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Statement by Amb. Byrne Nason at UNSC briefing on the Middle East, Incl. the Palestinian Question

Thank you Mr. President,

 

Thank you Tor for your comprehensive briefing, and for the report on the implementation of Resolution 2334.

 

Mr. President,

 

 

As the Council convenes to discuss the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory for the final time this year, five years since the adoption of Resolution 2334, it is fitting that we take stock.

 

 

Despite grave concerns raised in this Council about Israel’s settlement activity in every meeting this year, Israel has continued to plan and expand its settlements, with an estimated 800,000 people now housed in illegal settlements. I repeat Ireland’s call on Israel to halt all settlement activity, including in the sensitive areas of E1, Atarot and Givat Hamatos. The facts are crystal clear – settlements are illegal under international law and severely undermine the viability of a two-State solution.

 

Ireland assures this Council of our commitment to the principle of differentiation and the implementation of Resolution 2334.

 

2021 has also seen a record high number of Palestinians affected by demolitions, evictions and confiscations. Once again, Palestinian families in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and al-Walajeh are confronted with a looming legal deadline.  In East Jerusalem alone, 121 children have been impacted by demolitions and confiscations this year. As highlighted by the Secretary-General, demolitions and forced evictions raise serious concerns about the risk of forcible transfer.

 

Mr. President,

 

The significant uptick in violence across the occupied Palestinian territory this year, and its increasing intensity is extremely concerning. Incidents of settler violence are deeply disturbing and those responsible for attacks must be held accountable. In 2021, the Israeli Security Forces in the West Bank killed 72 Palestinians, including 17 children, using live ammunition. The disproportionate use of live fire by the Israeli Security Forces is unacceptable. We are deeply disturbed by the surge in violence in the West Bank, including attacks in Jerusalem and the killing of civilians.

 

We condemn terrorism in all of its forms. We are concerned by the threat to the safety and security of Palestinian and Israeli populations and incitement to violence by terrorist groups.

 

Mr. President,

 

Earlier this year we witnessed the most significant escalation in hostilities since 2014 leading to the death of more than 200 people, including over 60 children. Seven months on and the ceasefire remains fragile. UNRWA have confirmed that more than half of the children in the Gaza Strip require mental health support. Every child is born with the right to safety, the right to protection and the right to development. For Palestinian children, these rights are violated on a daily basis.

 

 

Mr. President,

 

Our statement here last month made our position of grave concern clear on Israel’s recent designation of six Palestinian civil society organisations.  Ireland’s commitment to supporting civil society, and those defending human rights, remains unwavering. 

 

Mr. President,

 

We welcome the first phase of Palestinian municipal elections in the West Bank and look forward to the second phase.  Ireland remains of the view that national Palestinian elections are essential to renew the legitimacy of national institutions. The financial situation of the Palestinian Authority is of concern and we encourage support, as well as enhanced economic cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. 

 

We strongly support UNRWA’s vital work for Palestine refugees, and call on others to do the same, and to ensure that UNRWA has the financial means to fully discharge its role, which is also critical to regional stability. 

 

Mr. President,

 

Let me emphasise again the need to reinvigorate efforts, including through the Quartet, with and between the parties and with key regional players, to help make progress toward a two State solution to the conflict.  Only this will end the occupation and achieve our shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, in peace and security, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. This Council also bears a particular responsibility, given its role in the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN Charter and the fact that this issue has been on the UN’s agenda since 1948

 

Ireland is ready to play its part and this issue will remain a priority for the rest of our Council membership.

 

Thank you Mr. President.

 

 

 

1.    Thank you Mr. President,

 

2.    Thank you Tor for your comprehensive briefing, and for the report on the implementation of Resolution 2334.

 

3.    Mr. President,

 

 

4.    As the Council convenes to discuss the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory for the final time this year, five years since the adoption of Resolution 2334, it is fitting that we take stock.

 

 

5.    Despite grave concerns raised in this Council about Israel’s settlement activity in every meeting this year, Israel has continued to plan and expand its settlements, with an estimated 800,000 people now housed in illegal settlements. I repeat Ireland’s call on Israel to halt all settlement activity, including in the sensitive areas of E1, Atarot and Givat Hamatos. The facts are crystal clear – settlements are illegal under international law and severely undermine the viability of a two-State solution.

 

6.    Ireland assures this Council of our commitment to the principle of differentiation and the implementation of Resolution 2334.

 

7.    2021 has also seen a record high number of Palestinians affected by demolitions, evictions and confiscations. Once again, Palestinian families in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and al-Walajeh are confronted with a looming legal deadline.  In East Jerusalem alone, 121 children have been impacted by demolitions and confiscations this year. As highlighted by the Secretary-General, demolitions and forced evictions raise serious concerns about the risk of forcible transfer.

 

8.    Mr. President,

 

9.    The significant uptick in violence across the occupied Palestinian territory this year, and its increasing intensity is extremely concerning. Incidents of settler violence are deeply disturbing and those responsible for attacks must be held accountable. In 2021, the Israeli Security Forces in the West Bank killed 72 Palestinians, including 17 children, using live ammunition. The disproportionate use of live fire by the Israeli Security Forces is unacceptable. We are deeply disturbed by the surge in violence in the West Bank, including attacks in Jerusalem and the killing of civilians.

 

10.           We condemn terrorism in all of its forms. We are concerned by the threat to the safety and security of Palestinian and Israeli populations and incitement to violence by terrorist groups.

 

11.           Mr. President,

 

12.           Earlier this year we witnessed the most significant escalation in hostilities since 2014 leading to the death of more than 200 people, including over 60 children. Seven months on and the ceasefire remains fragile. UNRWA have confirmed that more than half of the children in the Gaza Strip require mental health support. Every child is born with the right to safety, the right to protection and the right to development. For Palestinian children, these rights are violated on a daily basis.

 

 

13.           Mr. President,

 

14.           Our statement here last month made our position of grave concern clear on Israel’s recent designation of six Palestinian civil society organisations.  Ireland’s commitment to supporting civil society, and those defending human rights, remains unwavering. 

 

15.           Mr. President,

 

16.           We welcome the first phase of Palestinian municipal elections in the West Bank and look forward to the second phase.  Ireland remains of the view that national Palestinian elections are essential to renew the legitimacy of national institutions. The financial situation of the Palestinian Authority is of concern and we encourage support, as well as enhanced economic cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. 

 

17.           We strongly support UNRWA’s vital work for Palestine refugees, and call on others to do the same, and to ensure that UNRWA has the financial means to fully discharge its role, which is also critical to regional stability. 

 

18.           Mr. President,

 

19.           Let me emphasise again the need to reinvigorate efforts, including through the Quartet, with and between the parties and with key regional players, to help make progress toward a two State solution to the conflict.  Only this will end the occupation and achieve our shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, in peace and security, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. This Council also bears a particular responsibility, given its role in the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN Charter and the fact that this issue has been on the UN’s agenda since 1948. 

 

20.           Ireland is ready to play its part and this issue will remain a priority for the rest of our Council membership.

 

21.           Thank you Mr. President.

 

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