Explanation of vote by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Gaza

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UK statement at the UN Security Council: We call for further and longer pauses to get aid to Palestinians

8 December 2023

Thank you, President.

We are gravely concerned about the desperate situation in Gaza. The scale of civilian deaths and displacement in Gaza cannot continue. We welcomed the extended humanitarian pause last month and the release of hostages and humanitarian aid deliveries that took place during it. We call for further and longer pauses to get aid to Palestinians and allow space for further hostage releases.

But we cannot vote in favour of a resolution which does not condemn the atrocities Hamas committed against innocent Israeli civilians on the 7th of October. Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage.

Israel needs to be able to address the threat posed by Hamas and it needs to do so in a manner that abides by international humanitarian law, so that such an attack can never be carried out again. And so that we can work meaningfully towards a two-state solution, which delivers statehood for the Palestinians, security for Israel, and peace for people on both sides.

That’s why we abstained on this resolution.

Thank you, President.

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