Remarks by Waleed El-Khereiji, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

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January 23, 2024

Minister Waleed El-Khereiji observed that tensions in the Middle East are increasing as the Israeli war machine continues its attacks on hospitals, homes and places of worship in the Gaza Strip.

Noting that 30,000 Palestinians have perished because of the ongoing military escalation, he asked:  “How can this tragedy continue with no measure to halt the carnage and collective punishment of defenceless civilians?”

The situation’s repercussions on regional security must be contained, as must operations in the Red Sea, he said.  Underscoring the need for a lasting solution to tackle the root causes of the crisis, he called on the Council to act to ensure a ceasefire and restore peace.

The rights and dignity of the Palestinian people must be ensured, he went on to say, adding: “How can they hope for a better future and a dignified life under occupation and the war machine?”

To this end, he recalled the General Assembly resolution calling for a ceasefire, which reaffirmed the international community’s support for such an outcome.

As well, he rejected the linking of operations to self-defence, as well as calls for forced displacement and racist declarations by occupying authorities.

The Council must oblige Israel to respect international law and end the suffering, he said, underscoring the need for a credible path towards an independent Palestinian State, allowing security and stability for all.

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