Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

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August 8, 2022


We thank Special Coordinator Wennesland for his briefing on the recent developments in the Middle East. We also thank the Chinese Presidency for calling this meeting in order to look into the escalation of the crisis in Palestinian-Israeli relations, which creates risks reaching far beyond the borders of that region.

Rapid degradation in the conflict zone, which has resulted in an armed confrontation and caused numerous casualties raises our deep concern. Another spiral of escalation was provoked by strikes of Israeli air forces against Gaza on 5 August. In retaliation, Palestinian formations started massive indiscriminate bombardments of the Israeli territory. According to the incoming reports, the Israeli attacks killed at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children. More than 300 people were injured. Our heartfelt condolences go to the families of the deceased and injured. We strongly condemn the use of force and violence against civilians of both Palestine and Israel.

We are deeply worried over such developments, which are fraught with resumption of a full-fledged military confrontation and further degradation of the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. We call on all stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint, observe the norms of international humanitarian law and prevent further escalation.

Against this backdrop, we were relieved to learn about the establishment of a ceasefire regime in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone. On our part, we quickly joined the energetic activities aimed at putting an end to hostilities. As part of those efforts, we maintained intense contacts with key regional partners. We specifically commend the mediator efforts of Egypt and Qatar who made it possible to reach the ceasefire agreement at the end of the day. The United Nations, in particular Special Coordinator Wennesland contributed meaningfully to addressing this situation.


This spiral of tension was caused by a multitude of factors, the main of which being the lack of direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis. During such negotiations, they are supposed to elaborate solutions to all fundamental issues pertaining to the final status of the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Stagnating peace process, coupled with provocative unilateral steps, as we see, is able to “detonate” the situation on the ground at any moment, thus giving start to another cycle of violence.


We reiterate again our consistent and principled position which is reflected in relevant UNGA and UNSC resolutions. We support a comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of a two-state solution. This process should result in upholding the legitimate national right of the Palestinian people, namely – Palestinians having an independent state in 1967 borders.

Direct dialogue of the two sides should proceed given active support of the Middle Eastern Quartet, which remains the only internationally recognized mechanism for Palestinian-Israeli settlement. We remain committed to engaging with our partners in the Quartet with a view to increasing efficiency of this UNSC-approved format. At the same time, we note the importance of coordination among international mediators and regional partners. This is what Russia was guided by when putting forward its initiative to convene an extended meeting of the Quartet with participation of key members of the League of Arab States.

We regret that due to an unconstructive approach of our American colleagues the issue of resumption of the Quartet’s work remains unresolved. Washington adopted a stance that erodes the internationally recognized basis for settlement and negotiations formats in the Middle East. This position does not facilitate de-escalation, but rather does the opposite. It cannot be a source of trust for the affected sides, first of all Palestinians, who a priori find themselves in a more vulnerable situation. Thank you.


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