The State of Palestine welcomes the convening of the UN Security Council (UNSC) today, the fifth meeting of the Council in the month of May to address the Palestine question, this being its second open meeting on the matter this month and first meeting in its Chamber since late 2020. Ambassador of the State of Palestine, Minister Riyad Mansour, addressed the Council on behalf of the Palestinian people.
In statement after statement by Security Council members, it was clear that the international community is firmly rejecting the cynical Israeli narrative regarding the reality on the ground and the recent crisis and developments and is unanimously insisting that the focus be on addressing the root causes of this continuing historic injustice against the Palestinian people. It is becoming clearer with every statement that there is dwindling tolerance for Israel's empty excuses and arrogant exceptionalism and its serial violations and crimes against the Palestinian people. The era of appeasement of Israel’s actions as an occupying Power and a State above the law are coming to an end, hopefully sooner rather than later.
The international community is undeniably at a turning point, both crucial and long overdue on the path to justice and peace.
The calls for Palestinian self-determination and freedom were unequivocally clear in the Council today. As were the calls for: an end to Israel's colonization and de facto annexation of the occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, including an end to all settlement activities, the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes, including in Sheik Jarrah and Silwan, the demolition of Palestinian homes and properties; an end to the violations against Muslim worshippers and the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and insistence on full respect for the historic and legal status quo; an end to Israel’s racist, discriminatory and apartheid policies against all Palestinians; the complete lifting of the 14-year illegal Israeli blockade on the 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; and the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, including Palestine refugees through UNRWA, to alleviate humanitarian suffering, to address needs, including urgent reconstruction in Gaza, and to ensure their well-being and dignity until a just solution is achieved based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions. Of course, all also called for respect of the ceasefire that came into force on 21 May, an end to the violence and any attacks on civilians, and strict respect for IHL obligations.
Lastly, there is broad agreement that the international community cannot set aside the Palestine question or put it on the "back-burner" as some have attempted to do, with some claiming it is not a priority, when actually the fate of millions awaits a just solution. But rather the clear message, heard over and over, is that the international community must prioritize addressing the root causes of this injustice – the decades-long dispossession, displacement, colonization, oppression of the Palestinian people and the denial and violation of their every human right by Israel, the occupying Power. Otherwise, the situation will not only remain volatile, but will continue deteriorating with far-reaching and grave repercussions.
The calls were clear for immediate international mobilization for a credible political process, based firmly on international law and UN resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334 (2016), to overcome the longstanding paralysis that has protracted and compounded this injustice, crisis after crisis. In statement after statement, the calls for action emphasized the urgency of protecting civilians, ensuring accountability, restoring hope, salvaging the two State solution on the pre-1967 lines, as enshrined in UN resolutions, and making genuine progress towards the full realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the absolute core pillar of a just solution that will allow all to live in peace and security and dignity. It is time to act on those calls.