Statement by Her Excellency Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, at the UN Security Council Briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Must read

29 May 2024

Thank you, President, and I also thank Special Coordinator Wennesland for his briefing.

Malta is gravely concerned at the crisis that continues to unfold. We reaffirm our call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Malta reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the 7 October Hamas terror attacks on Israeli civilians and the continued indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli territory, including the recent barrage launched from Rafah. We once again call for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages.

Our concerns also continue to mount for Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Tens of thousands have already been killed or injured. Millions have been forcibly displaced, on multiple occasions, and the entire population is under siege.

An intensification of Israeli military operations in Rafah and a return to fierce fighting in north Gaza, coupled with evacuation orders imposed on desperate civilians, highlights the severely compromised security and humanitarian crisis.

On Sunday, more civilians lost their lives and were harmed following an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp in Rafah.

The constant bombardment of hospitals, combined with aid restrictions has led to the collapse of the healthcare system. This is putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians at risk as they are unable to access essential services. This is also putting mothers and their newborns at risk of significant physical and mental harm. More than 155,000 pregnant and lactating women are unable to access essential services.

Reports that an estimated 17,000 children are currently unaccompanied or separated from their families, this is staggering. We stress that international humanitarian law provides special protection for children, as persons who are particularly vulnerable.

The seizure and closure of the Rafah crossing by Israel has also crippled the provision and distribution of aid compounding an already dire situation. In accordance with international humanitarian law, Israel is obliged to facilitate unimpeded aid relief into and across the Gaza Strip.

We call for the Rafah crossing to be re-opened and for a massive upscale of aid to the civilian population. The safety and security of aid workers, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2712 and 2720, must equally be guaranteed.

Furthermore, Malta underlines its support for the indispensable lifesaving role of UNRWA in Gaza and the wider region. Consistent with our endorsement of the shared commitments on UNRWA, we stress the need for the Agency to receive adequate and sustained political and financial support.


The immediate priorities are clear. We need full compliance and implementation of the relevant Council resolutions and the full, immediate and effective implementation of the Orders of the ICJ, including those issued on 24 May.

We need a ceasefire, the release of hostages, a surge of humanitarian aid, and a stop to the launch of rockets on Israeli towns and cities.

We must also address the question of long-term priorities to ensure that Israelis and Palestinians both enjoy a future of peace and dignity. This includes a commitment to accountability, as justice and peace are complementary. Judicial proceedings seeking to counter impunity are critical for long-term stability.

We reaffirm that settlements in the West Bank are illegal and an obstacle for peace. Israeli settlement activities and violence against Palestinian civilians in the OPT must cease.

Fundamentally, influential and regional parties must mobilise the political will and courage to support restorative dialogue processes and ensure that a return to a political horizon is reaffirmed as a priority.

This must include support to revitalise the Palestinian Authority for it to have the capacity for governance over both the West Bank and Gaza.

Malta supports all efforts towards initiating a comprehensive peace plan, which would pave the way for a credible and irreversible realisation of the two-state solution, along the pre-1967 borders, addressing the legitimate aspirations of both sides, with Jerusalem as the future Capital of two States, living side-by-side in peace and security, in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions and internationally agreed parameters.

I thank you.

More articles

Latest article