Statement by H.E. Felix Nyarku, Minister/Head of Chancery, at the UNSC Meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

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June 27, 2023

Madam President,

I begin by thanking the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Mr. Tor Wennesland for his briefing as well as Dr. James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute for his perspective on the situation in the Middle East. We note the Special Coordinator’s highlights on the detailed measures being undertaken to restore calm in the region. We welcome the roles that friendly governments have recently played in the region to diffuse tensions, stabilise the situation on the ground, and encourage dialogue and direct negotiations between senior political figures on both sides to find a political solution to the conflict.

Madam President,

It is regrettable that the period under consideration has been characterised by an increase in Israeli settler activities, which resulted in the displacing of Palestinian families, encroachment of Palestinian lands, physical attacks, arrests without due process and killings of children and unarmed civilians by both in the occupied Palestinian territories especially in northern West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. We condemn and express strong discontent over the continuing pattern of violent attacks and direct confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis.

Madam President,

We remain concerned by the volatile security and the dire humanitarian situation in the OPT and beyond, which have been driven by actions of both Palestinians and Israelis during the period under consideration. These developments have included:

  1. The decision by the Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration of Israel to expedite the issuance of construction permits to promote the planned construction of 4560 new housing units in the West Bank. Coming on the back of the repeal of certain clauses in the 2005 disengagement law that ordered the evacuation of Jewish settlements to allow Jewish residents to return to four West Bank settlements in the occupied West Bank by the Israeli Parliament;
  2. The use of live ammunition by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in a security operation in a refugee camp in Jenin on 19 June 2023 which resulted in the death of many Palestinians civilian population including children and over 90 people with different degrees of injuries;

III. The recent increase in the use of inciteful statements and radical policy proposals by notable high ranking right wing Israeli and hard-line Palestinian politicians that undermines and threatens the prospect of the widely accepted two-state solution and

  1. The increased incidence of firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups and militias from Palestinian controlled areas of the OPT into Israeli Territory and Israeli Settler Communities bordering the West Bank in recent times constitute an obstacle to peace.

Madam President

These unilateral actions runs counter to various UN Security Council resolutions (e.g. Resolution 242 of 1967, reaffirmed in 338 of 1973) which provides the framework for peace negotiations based on a “land-for-peace” formula and which has become the foundation of all subsequent negotiations and peace treaties in the region. We call on both parties to show maximum restraint and refrain from further unilateral actions by establishing a joint civilian committee that will work to promote confidence-building measures. We wish to emphasize the need to hold to account all those that have been responsible for acts of violence, human rights violations, war crimes and human rights abuses. We reaffirm our demand that all parties in the conflict comply fully with international humanitarian law, including the protection of the civilian population, the UN Charter, and the many relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). We appeal to both parties to respect and recommit to all previous agreements between them, especially the commitment to de-escalate the situation on the ground and prevent further violence as contained in the Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh Declarations. We call on Israel to ensure maximum restraint, act responsively and in a manner consistent with international law by promptly investigating all instances of alleged disproportionate use of force against Palestinians, while abiding by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

Madam President

I reaffirm Ghana’s commitment to play a meaningful role in finding a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on all relevant Security Council resolutions, and the widely accepted two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines.

I thank you for your attention

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