Statement by Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East

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This truce must become permanent and must lead to a ceasefire

November 29, 2023

Mr. President,

I thank the Secretary-General and Mr. Wennesland for their briefings.

France commends the engagement on the ground of the United Nations, UNRWA personnel and all humanitarian actors, who are doing such a remarkable work.

France also welcomes the extension of the truce, and thanks Qatar, Egypt, the United States and the ICRC for their efforts. This truce must become permanent and must lead to a ceasefire.

We warmly welcome the release of the three French children who had been taken hostage, and that of all the other hostages. All hostages must immediately and unconditionally be released.

France reiterates its condemnation of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel on the 7th of October. The Security Council must condemn them unambiguously and without further delay.

Israel has the right to defend itself, and the duty to do so while fully upholding international humanitarian law. Civilian populations and infrastructures must be protected.

The current truce has allowed for increased aid deliveries into Gaza, including in the north. This progress is positive, but this aid is not sufficient. Other crossing points must be opened. France has already deployed over 100 tons of freight and provided 100 million euros in aid since the 7th of October, including 54 for UNRWA. We are also ensuring follow-up of the humanitarian conference in Paris on November 9.

Since yesterday, the Dixmude hospital ship has been treating the first Palestinian wounded in Al-Arich as part of the medical support coordinated by Egypt, whose action in this matter I also commend.

France calls for the full implementation of Resolution 2712.

Mr. President,

France condemns the violence in the West Bank by settlers against Palestinians. They have caused the death of numerous Palestinian civilians and the forced departure of several communities in Area C. France calls upon the Israeli authorities to immediately put an end to this violence.

We also have a duty to prevent a regional escalation. France is fully engaged to avoid this conflict spilling over. We warn those who wish to benefit from the situation.

The security of the blue helmets of UNIFIL, UNDOF and UNTSO must be assured. We are concerned regarding the recent firing against UNIFIL.

Mr. President,

To bring an end to the cycles of violence, a credible and serious peace process must be relaunched without further delay, so as to allow the Palestinians and Israelis to live side by side in peace and security. Further procrastination would undoubtedly result in a resumption and exacerbation of violence. The two-state solution, with indispensable security guarantees for Israel and a state for the Palestinians, is the only viable solution.

France is mobilized to achieve this. The President of the Republic met the Arab League and OIC contact group for Gaza on the 22nd of November in Paris, and is continuing his discussions with his counterparts in the region.

France will continue to work towards the achievement of these objectives, so that the Council can speak with one voice to this end.

Thank you.

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