Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian Question

19 December 2023

I thank the Special Coordinator Wennesland and General Gauchat for their remarks.

On October 7, innocent people were savagely murdered, thousand were wounded; babies, young people and Holocaust survivors were killed, women and girls were raped, innocent people were taken hostage.

What followed, is known by all, and continues to this hour.

This war and its appalling human toll is a tragedy, another one on top of many seen in the past, where civilians always end up paying the high price. Especially the children, victims of wars they never choose, of conflicts they cannot understand.

We call for the full respect of the International Humanitarian law, which is not an option but an obligation.

Terrorists must be killed, but innocent people, children, civilians and their families, humanitarian workers, UN staff and journalists, must be protected.

We deplore every innocent life lost in this bloody war, be it Israeli or Palestinian.

Innocent life has the same value, on any side of this or any border.

Mr. President,

For an entire week, guns were silenced, reason prevailed, some 100 hostages were released and a glimpse of hope came back.

The world was holding its breath hoping for the truce to be extended, but Hamas did not see that way, leaving families of hostages in deep anguish, fully aware of what would happen, that more innocent people would be killed and more innocent Palestinians would be sacrificed.

We remain worried about the situation of the hostages who are still in still in the bloody hands of Hamas. Those returned to Israel were malnourished, ill, injured and in heavy psychological conditions.

We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release and in the meantime the ICRC must be allowed to visit and check their well-being.

Colleagues,

Along the real war with guns, rockets and tanks, another frontal clash is happening at the same time, — one using tweets, hashtags and shares, the so called “war with 140 characters”, with unfiltered images, raw videos, with hate speech, complot theories, anti-Semitism, sawing more division, spreading more hatred.

It would be a real tragedy, or another to the one in front of our eyes, that the immense suffering of the citizens of Gaza, the thousands of lives lost, this ocean of human pain on both sides, be used by Hamas to strengthen their narrative. We are afraid, that in this black and white context, this may be happening. It must be resisted because it is only a recipe for tragedy.

Colleagues,

We share the deep concern on the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip.

Despite the amount of aid going through or the deconflicting mechanisms in place, the fact is that the situation is very dire and a humanitarian system in pain is struggling to survive.

We call for full implementation of UNSCR 2712 and reiterate the need for urgent measures in order for the aid to reach the civilians as soon as possible and without any hindrance.

We support efforts to scale up humanitarian aid and for a monitoring mechanism and all efforts to break up hostilities. We must make sure to put in place a mechanism that helps, facilitates and makes it easy to reach those suffering, not rush into something that, despite the good intentions, may end up producing the opposite, especially for those on the ground.

In this respect, we welcome the decision to open the Kerem Shalom cross point for humanitarian aid.

Mr. President,

The situation in the West Bank is another area of concern. The settler’s violence on civilian Palestinians is unacceptable. It must end, and all cases should be properly investigated.

We remain worried about the lack of implementation of resolution  2334.

We recall that settlements are in violation with international law. They constitute an obstacle to the two-state solution. They must be dismantled not expanded.

Mr. President, let me conclude with this:

Like every other conflict, this one will also end, and we hope, as soon as possible.

It will leave behind ruins, immense grief and deep scars.

The political and physical reconstruction of Gaza will require new and true efforts.

As this may be the last meeting for my country as member of the Council on this issue, just like we have said and repeated in every one of them, we look forward to the moment when the two state solution is advanced, not like an empty mantra, not as an easy substitute to failure, not as a placebo, but as a genuine process so that the Israelis and Palestinians find the way to get out of the horrible deadlock, of the terrible impasse and the perpetual failures over decades, and together with the International community, design, agree and implement to live side by side, each in their own state, in dignity, prosperity and security, free from terror and insecurity.

If not, even if this Hamas is dismantled, its ideology will remain, and if it is not abandoned or eradicated, peace plans will remain dreams, dreams will be crashed, and the harsh and unforgiving reality will perpetuate, and it will, unfortunately, only be a matter of time until the next tragedy unfolds.

Thank you.

Previous Remarks by the Political Coordinator Arian Spasse at the Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation – Iran

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