Israel/Palestine: silence by Security Council is deafening and incomprehensible [fr]

Middle East
Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 26 March 2019

At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing, which complements the very comprehensive written report (S/2019/251) submitted a few days ago by the Secretary-General. I take this opportunity to welcome the circulation of that report in response to a request by France and the majority of the members of the Security Council. It is an important step towards the submission of at least two reports per year, which we have requested. We thank the Secretary-General, the Secretariat and Mr. Mladenov. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the parties, as we have just been reminded by my German colleague, to oversee the implementation of resolution 2324 (2016). It is equally our joint responsibility to make progress and find points of agreement with a view to stepping outside our automatic pilot mode with regard to this question.

I turn first to the situation on the ground, which is extremely worrisome. Once again, in recent days the Gaza Strip has found itself on the brink of a new conflict, as it has experienced three times in the past decade. The firing of a rocket into the central region of Israel, which killed several people, including children, less than two weeks after shots were fired in Tel Aviv, is something that has not been seen since the 2014 conflict. We condemned that launch in the strongest possible terms and we reiterate our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. These launches represent a dangerous escalation, which could quickly spiral out of control. The return to a ceasefire, thanks to the efforts of Egypt, which should once again be welcomed, must not blind us to the frequency of those incidents of escalation over the past several months. Everyone knows that, in the absence of a fundamental change in the situation in the Gaza Strip, a new conflict is inevitable.

The situation in Gaza is now characterized by a multidimensional crisis. On the humanitarian level, the situation in the Gaza Strip is disastrous and fuels despair among the population. The efforts of the Special Coordinator and all United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, have enabled an emergency humanitarian response that must be resolutely sustained, but a long-term response is still needed.

The despair generates a wave of protest, which Hamas and other armed groups are trying to exploit and which has as its source the plight of the people of Gaza. Those protests led to a disproportionate At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing, which complements the very comprehensive written report (S/2019/251) submitted a few days ago by the Secretary-General. I take this opportunity to welcome the circulation of that report in response to a request by France and the majority of the members of the Security Council. It is an important step towards the submission of at least two reports per year, which we have requested. We thank the Secretary-General, the Secretariat and Mr. Mladenov. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the parties, as we have just been reminded by my German colleague, to oversee the implementation of resolution 2324 (2016). It is equally our joint responsibility to make progress and find points of agreement with a view to stepping outside our automatic pilot mode with regard to this question.

I turn first to the situation on the ground, which is extremely worrisome. Once again, in recent days the Gaza Strip has found itself on the brink of a new conflict, as it has experienced three times in the past decade. The firing of a rocket into the central region of Israel, which killed several people, including children, less than two weeks after shots were fired in Tel Aviv, is something that has not been seen since the 2014 conflict. We condemned that launch in the strongest possible terms and we reiterate our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. These launches represent a dangerous escalation, which could quickly spiral out of control. The return to a ceasefire, thanks to the efforts of Egypt, which should once again be welcomed, must not blind us to the frequency of those incidents of escalation over the past several months. Everyone knows that, in the absence of a fundamental change in the situation in the Gaza Strip, a new conflict is inevitable.

The situation in Gaza is now characterized by a multidimensional crisis. On the humanitarian level, the situation in the Gaza Strip is disastrous and fuels despair among the population. The efforts of the Special Coordinator and all United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, have enabled an emergency humanitarian response that must be resolutely sustained, but a long-term response is still needed.

The despair generates a wave of protest, which Hamas and other armed groups are trying to exploit and which has as its source the plight of the people of Gaza. Those protests led to a disproportionate I think we are all aware of the dangers posed by the temptation to pursue a unilateral path. A unilateral approach would widen the divisions that must be decreased and exacerbate the resentment that must be overcome, and therefore cannot lead to peace in the region. Beyond the Middle East, such an approach would undermine the international rules-based order.

That is the message that France reiterated, together with several Arab and European partners, at the Dublin meeting in February. The same logic applies to the establishment of embassies in Jerusalem, which challenges the status quo of the city, which is guaranteed by several Security Council resolutions, namely, 476 (1980) and 478 (1980). And let us make no mistake, that also goes for the issue of the Golan Heights — a territory that has been occupied by Israel since 1967 and is defined as such by the Council since the adoption of resolution 242 (1967). The acquisition of territory by force is illegal under the Charter of the United Nations. France does not recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan in 1981. It is considered null and void by several Security Council resolutions, including resolution 497 (1981). The recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan is contrary to international law, in particular the obligation States have to not recognize an illegal situation.

It is the responsibility of the Council to ensure that those fundamental principles, which condition international peace and security, are respected. That is why silence by the Council on this subject is ever more deafening and incomprehensible. For France it is entirely unacceptable, which is why we will continue to spare no effort in that regard.

Dernière modification : 01/04/2019

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