Statement by Felix Nyarku, Minister/Head of Chancery of Ghana, at the UNSC Briefing and Consultation on the situation in the Middle East

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August 22, 2023

Madam President,

I thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Tor Wennesland for his briefing on the situation in the Middle East, which gives much cause for concern. We regret that the period under consideration witnessed some of the worst forms of violent clashes in recent times, and that, despite an overwhelming desire around the world for peace in the Middle East region, especially in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the actions on the ground manifests the contrary. We join in condemning the surge in acts of violence against civilians, by both sides, including acts of terror. As we look forward to the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, on 13th September, Ghana remains deeply concerned about the lack of progress in finding a just and lasting solution to the protracted dispute and the achievement of the twoState solution. It is regrettable that 30 years after the Oslo Accords, Israelis and Palestinians are farther apart on an agreement than ever before.

Madam President,

We hold that the two-State solution remains the only realistic path for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine and urge action to address three issues that undermine the viability of the two-state solution.

  • First, we must help stop the interminable cycle of violence and increase in settler-related clashes which has been the norm over the past eight (8) months. As reported by the United Nations the past eight (8) months have recorded the highest number of settler-related incidents across the Middle East region compared to the whole of last year. As the UN indicates, 591settler-related incidents were recorded during the first half of 2023 and this resulted in Palestinian casualties, property damage, or both.
  • Also, in sharing the concern of UNICEF over the demolition of Palestinianowned properties across the West Bank in the past 12 months, we reiterate our call for Israel to stop the advancement of settlement activities, halt all evictions and demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures, and respect Palestinian children’s right to education.
  • Secondly, the increasing frequency and intensity of security operations by Israeli Security Forces, using sophisticated weapons and live ammunition, has been accompanied by widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure and private property, arbitrary arrests, and detentions of mostly Palestinians youth in Gaza, Jenin, and other refugee camps in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This mode of operation, while aimed at assuring the security of Israel, has led to the highest numbers of Palestinian fatalities and injury to children and unarmed civilians and contributed to the current situation of insecurity in the region.
  • We therefore call on the Israeli security forces to undertake all security operations in a transparent manner, exercise restraint and adhere to the principles of proportionality and distinction during their security operations in the West Bank and other parts of the OPT.
  • We are equally concerned about the sharp increase in violent attacks on unarmed Israeli civilians which has resulted in fatalities, the kidnapping of innocent Israelis in Jerusalem and other Israeli settlements, the regular firing rockets into Israeli communities which have harmed innocent Israeli citizens. We wish to reiterate our position that attacks by terrorist or militant groups against innocent Israeli citizens would not advance the cause of Palestine. The Council must act to protect all civilians.
  • Last but not the least, we urge an abatement of the increasing use of provocative remarks and acts and the adoption of radical policies on matters that affect the wellbeing of both Israeli and Palestinian citizens. We encourage direct engagement by the parties to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, while assuring the security of the State of Israel. We hold that, ultimately, any agreement that settles the IsraeliPalestinian conflict would require the leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah to engage. We urge the parties to sustain communications to deescalate the situation on the ground.

Finally, Madam President, as we have stated before, the fate of Palestine and Israel has been woven together by history and this Council’s previous decisions. It is evident that the only acceptable solution continues to be the twoState solution stemming from bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as envisioned by the Oslo Accords. This Council therefore has an enduring responsibility to support Israel and Palestine to find the peace that would enable them to live side by side, with their interests protected by their adherence to international law.

I thank you.

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