Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing, Agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”

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January, 5, 2023

Less than one month after the previous meeting, the Security Council meeting “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” had to be convened.

Japan expresses its grave concern over the visit to a holy site in Jerusalem by Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir on January 3. Given the already tense situation, it is crucial that all parties concerned exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any inflammatory actions or rhetoric that could further escalate tensions, including any attempts to alter the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.

Japan also expresses its serious concern that the new Israeli government has announced policy guidelines, quote, “to advance and develop settlement in all parts of the land of Israel,” unquote, which is understood to include occupied territories.  The expansion of settlements is a clear violation of international law and against relevant Security Council resolutions, and Japan urges Israel to immediately cease such unilateral actions that undermine the realization of a two-state solution.

A peaceful resolution can only be achieved through dialogue based on mutual trust between the parties. Japan urges the parties to return to the path of dialogue and seriously recommit themselves to the realization of a two-state solution based on relevant Security Council resolutions and internationally agreed parameters.

Finally, Japan, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the next two years, is determined to make further contributions toward peace and stability in the Middle East.


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