Members Urge Israel to Stop Building Settlements on Palestinian Land, as Permanent Members Oppose Golan Decision by United States
The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process warned the Security Council today about the danger of renewed violence in the Gaza Strip, “with potentially catastrophic consequences”, in the aftermath of rocket and mortar attacks from the Palestinian enclave and Israel’s robust military response.
A new conflict will be devastating for the Palestinian people, with consequences for Israelis living near the Gaza perimeter, and regional repercussions are likely as well, Nickolay Mladenov emphasized. A fragile calm seems to have taken hold in Gaza since Monday’s incidents, he noted, while stressing that nobody has an interest in a full‑scale military confrontation in the enclave.
“I am concerned that we may once again be facing another dangerous escalation of violence in Gaza with potentially catastrophic consequences,” he cautioned, pointing out that the last two days have shown how close is the brink of war. He called for a halt to the launching of rockets, mortars and other incendiary devices into Israel, while underlining the responsibility of that country’s security forces to exercise restraint in responding.
He went on to strongly condemn a wave of arrests and violence by Hamas security forces earlier this month against Palestinian civilians protesting the dire socioeconomic circumstances in Gaza. The brutal beating of journalists and human rights workers, as well as the raiding of homes, is particularly alarming, he added.
Briefing members on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) — which notably calls upon Israel to cease its settlement‑construction activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem — he reiterated that the establishment of those settlements has no legal effect, constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, and must cease immediately and completely.
In the ensuing discussion, Indonesia’s Vice‑Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Israel, as the occupying Power, is failing to implement resolution 2334 (2016). He went on to cite Israel’s failure to pay $139 million in revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and called for increased humanitarian and economic assistance for the Palestinians.
Kuwait’s delegate reinforced that point, emphasizing the important role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He went on to highlight Israel’s provocative rhetoric and attempts to change the status of holy sites, and underlined Kuwait’s rejection of the decision by the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the annexed Golan Heights.
On that point, the representative of the United States stressed the critical security importance of that decision, saying that allowing control over the Golan Heights by the likes of Syria and Iran would be tantamount to turning a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime as well as Iran’s destabilizing presence in the region. As for Gaza, he reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, adding that the international community must shine a light on the injustices perpetrated by Hamas.
The Russian Federation’s representative described the launching of rockets into Israel as unacceptable, and called upon both sides to refrain from unilateral actions and the use of force. However, the status quo is not viable, he emphasized, calling upon Council members to redouble their collective efforts to relaunch negotiations aimed at realizing a two‑State solution. As for the Golan Heights, he said unilateral steps cannot change the territory’s status, which has been determined by Council resolutions. That status is subject to direct Israeli‑Syrian dialogue, he stressed.
China’s representative, reinforcing that point, stressed that his delegation opposes unilateral actions that seek to alter facts on the ground, nor does it wish to see regional tensions escalate.
France’s representative said his delegation does not recognize the Golan since Israel’s occupation of the territory is in breach of international law.
The United Kingdom’s representative, recalling that Israel occupied the Golan by force, emphasized that her delegation does not, therefore, recognize its sovereignty over that territory, and its Government has no plan to change that position.
Germany’s delegate, reprising the previous discussion, advised Palestine and Israel to avoid exchanging accusations in their statements to members. “Put your speeches aside and focus on how you are implementing resolution 2334 (2016),” he urged, emphasizing that abiding by international law is the best way to protect civilians.
The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine responded by asserting that the occupying Power “on the other side of the table” is, under the protection of a Council member, failing to implement relevant Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). “I beg you, find a way to implement your resolutions,” he urged members. Calling for serious action to prevent further brutality, he called upon the Council to demand an end to all illegal Israeli policies, which are destroying the viability of a two‑State solution. It must also demand that Israel immediately cease all provocations — including those perpetrated by extremist settlers — and attacks against the historic status quo of Haram al‑Sharif, he said, adding: “We urge you to act before it is too late.”
Israel’s representative said that his delegation is comfortable discussing implementation of Council resolutions, but when rockets are flying, Israel will defend its people, and then it will talk. “We have entered a new reality”, with Hamas able to launch rockets deep into Israel, he said, calling upon the Council to clearly condemn Hamas and designate it as a terrorist organization. “If those attacks continue, the leaders of Hamas will feel the might of the [Israel Defense Forces] and be buried in the tunnels of Gaza,” he warned.
Also speaking today were representatives of the Dominican Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Poland, Belgium, Peru and Equatorial Guinea.
The meeting began at 9:43 a.m. and ended at 12:09 p.m.
NICKOLAY MLADENOV, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, presented the latest report of the Secretary‑General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) (document S/2019/251), dated 20 March 2019. He said that a fragile calm seems to have taken hold in the Gaza Strip, recalling that on 25 March, a rocket launched from the enclave hit a house in central Israel and injured seven family members, including three children. Over the next 24 hours, at least 103 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel, he said, adding that the country’s air force conducted 42 strikes against various locations in Gaza, while ground and naval forces fired 16 shells towards Gaza, injuring seven Palestinians.
Emphasizing that nobody has an interest in a full military confrontation in Gaza, he warned that a new conflict will be devastating for the Palestinian people, with consequences for Israelis living near the Gaza perimeter and likely regional repercussions as well. He requested that Council members join the United Nations in condemning the continued indiscriminate firing of rockets by Hamas towards Israel, cautioning that such acts of provocation dramatically increase the risk of escalation and ultimately damage collective efforts to support Gaza’s people and intra‑Palestinian reconciliation. “We must also call on all sides to exercise maximum restraint as the situation remains very tense,” he stressed.
Noting that the Secretary‑General’s report covers the period between 15 December 2018 and 15 March 2019, he said Israel has taken no steps to cease settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as per the terms of resolution 2334 (2016). Since the end of the reporting period, however, the Government announced the construction of 840 new housing units in the Ariel settlement, while demolitions and seizures of Palestinian‑owned structures continued in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, violence has escalated, he added, noting that on 14 and 15 March, Hamas security personnel violently dispersed a demonstration by thousands of Palestinians protesting Gaza’s dire socioeconomic circumstances. Protests at the Gaza fence have resumed, he said, with incendiary devices launched from Gaza into Israel and the Israeli military conducting air strikes and shelling.
He went on to say that tensions in the occupied West Bank have also continued, citing a number of shootings, stabbings and clashes at or near Ariel, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah and the Ktzi’ot Prison. Both Israelis and Palestinians were killed or wounded, he added. Meanwhile, provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric have continued, with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praising the attack near Ariel as heroic and Israeli political leaders calling for targeted assassinations of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials. Pointing out that no steps were taken to reverse negative trends that imperil a two‑State solution, he said the situation at Jerusalem’s holy sites remains tense. There has also been no resolution to the funding crisis created by Israel’s decision to withhold 6 per cent of the revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, he added.
Refocusing on implementation of resolution 2334 (2016), he reiterated that the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has no legal effect, constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, and must cease immediately and completely. He expressed sadness at the persistent violence and loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives, calling upon both sides to reject violence and work to reduce tensions. He called upon all Council members to join the United Nations in condemning terrorism unequivocally. “I am concerned that we may once again be facing another dangerous escalation of violence in Gaza with potentially catastrophic consequences,” he warned, pointing out that the last two days have shown how close is the brink of war. He called for a halt to the launching of rockets, mortars and other incendiary devices into Israel, while underlining the responsibility of that country’s security forces to exercise restraint and use lethal force only when unavoidable and only to protect life. He strongly condemned the campaign of arrests and violence by Hamas security forces against protesters in Gaza, noting that the brutal beating of journalists and human rights workers, as well as the raiding of homes, is particularly alarming.
Emphasizing the need for the return of unified government to Gaza, he called upon the Palestinian factions to engage with Egypt in implementing the 2017 Cairo Agreement and end intra‑Palestinian divisions. He concluded by expressing his deep concern at the lack of progress on the two‑State track, declaring: “There is no viable alternative to the two‑State solution.” It remains critical for the parties to return to meaningful bilateral negotiations, he said, stressing that what is needed, first and foremost, is leadership and political will to take concrete steps in support of ending the occupation and realizing a lasting peace. Until that happens, another generation of Israelis and Palestinians is destined to spend their lives searching in vain for an elusive peace, he warned.
ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMMAD FACHIR, Vice‑Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, said the occupying Power is failing to implement resolution 2334 (2016) and continues to use live ammunition against civilians. The occupying Power defies United Nations principles by constructing illegal settlements and closing the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Citing its failure to pay $139 million in Palestinian revenues, he called for increased humanitarian and economic assistance to the Palestinian people, noting that Indonesia is set to increase its financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). “The two‑State solution is the only way to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace,” he said, also calling for Palestinian national unity. He concluded by condemning the sealing of the Al‑Aqsa Mosque gates and called upon the Council to monitor the situation.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) expressed his delegation’s support for efforts to defuse tensions, noting that the Special Coordinator is compelled to repeat his briefings due to the occupying Power’s activities, including illegal settlements. He urged Israel to stop such practices, which are violations of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. Israel’s unilateral decisions, including its retention of Palestinian revenues, also hinder a possible resolution of the conflict, he added. He warned against Israel’s provocative rhetoric and attempts to change the status of holy sites, noting that Israel committed human rights violations during the Great March of Return protests of 2018. Regarding UNRWA, he said it is difficult to call for stability in the region without recognizing the Agency’s important role. He concluded by underlining Kuwait’s rejection of the decision by the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which it annexed by force.
JOSÉ MANUEL TRULLOLS (Dominican Republic) expressed concern about the dangerous trajectory of recent days, warning against unilateral measures. Noting that the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict is linked to others across the region, he said “a new impetus is needed”, highlighting the key role to be played by the United Nations. While condemning Israel’s settlement activities as well as the launching of rockets into Israel, he said that his delegation remains troubled by the fragile humanitarian conditions in Gaza, such as a lack of electricity. Freezing of fiscal revenues is another destabilizing factor, he noted, urging both sides to resume the peace process within the framework of a two‑State solution.
JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States) said his delegation strongly condemns the latest rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza and reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself. Everyone can agree that Israelis and Palestinians must work together, with support from the international community, to improve conditions in Gaza, but malicious and insidious violence by Hamas contravenes that goal. Many factors lie behind the situation in Gaza, but the international community must shed a light on injustices on the part of Hamas, he emphasized. Yesterday, the President of the United States signed a proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, he recalled, describing that decision as one of critical security importance. To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of Syria and Iran would be to turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime as well as Iran’s destabilizing presence in the region, he said, stressing that there can be no agreement that fails to address Israel’s security concerns in a satisfactory manner.
GBOLIÉ DÉSIRÉ WULFRAN IPO (Côte d’Ivoire), emphasizing that the hope of peace is diminishing with every crisis, appealed to all parties to demonstrate restraint and respect international law, including relevant Council resolutions. He called upon the protagonists to engage in constructive dialogue and refrain from unilateral actions that could compromise international efforts to end the conflict peacefully. Côte d’Ivoire is committed to Israel’s security and to the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self‑determination and a two‑State solution, he said. On the humanitarian situation in Gaza, he called upon Council members, working with the United Nations and other partners, to meet the key needs of 5 million people in distress, and to support UNRWA.
HARSHANA BHASKAR GOOLAB (South Africa) condemned the Hamas rocket attacks against Israel, saying they undermine the legitimate cause of the Palestinians. Pressing the Council to act on the lifting of Israel’s illegal Gaza blockade, she also cited the Secretary‑General’s report noting that Israel continues to expand settlements in addition to demolishing and seizing property in the occupied territories — “unabated and with impunity”. These actions undermine the prospects for peace and alter conditions on the ground, she emphasized, noting that they also place the chances for a two‑State solution in jeopardy by eroding the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian State while contravening the Council’s own decisions. While such overt violations of Council resolutions would usually evoke severe measures against the party responsible, the Council remains silent, she pointed out, warning that unless it upholds its decisions, it will lose effectiveness. South Africa is concerned about the disregard for the Middle East peace process and attempts to prejudge final status issues, she stressed, expressing concern that Israel continues illegally to occupy the Golan Heights in violation of the Council’s own resolutions. Israel must respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, she added.
JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) condemned the rocket attacks that struck residential buildings in Israel, calling for restraint to avoid full‑scale war. Recalling that the Security Council adopted resolution 2334 (2016) in 2016, she said there have been no significant positive changes, but the risk of miscalculation has increased. With the one‑year anniversary of the Great March of Return approaching, Poland calls for negotiations and redoubled efforts towards a two‑State solution, she said, adding that the road map remains legitimate but is being called into question due to the deteriorating situation on the ground. Noting that the humanitarian situation in Gaza became worse with the lack of services, she said that about 80 per cent of people there depend on the support provided by UNRWA, which remains key to stability in the region. All settlement activities are illegal, she reiterated.
MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium) said Israel’s continuing settlement activities and demolition of Palestinian structures are deeply worrying and illegal under international law. Belgium condemns all such violations and impunity, he added. Noting the approach of the anniversary of the Great March of Return, he emphasized that the use of lethal force must only be allowed as a last resort, adding that protests must remain non‑violent. It is not acceptable that extremists hijack protests, he said, stressing that Hamas must respect the rights to peaceful protest. He went on to applaud the work done by UNRWA, while cautioning against a series of unilateral measures, including Israel’s decision to partially stop the transfers of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. All stakeholders must refrain from unilateral measures, he said, underlining that, in accordance with the European position, Belgium does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) expressed concern over a recent escalation in violence, including the launch of rockets, which endangers a political solution. Israel’s legitimate defence must also be proportionate, he added. Describing Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as illegal, he said they undermine a two‑State solution and called for an immediate end to such practices. Israel’s retention of legitimate Palestinian funds is also a destabilizing the conflict, he said, urging both sides to avoid further escalation and increase efforts towards resuming dialogue. Regarding the Golan decision, he reiterated that forcible annexation is unacceptable.
AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Equatorial Guinea), expressing alarm at the ever‑growing hostility between Israelis and Palestinians, said it is regrettable that all steps taken over the years have failed to get them to resume negotiations. Alongside efforts to improve the situation in Gaza, the Council must remain alert to stop the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from falling prey to violence as well, she emphasized. Israeli and Palestinian leaders must be aware that the eyes of the world are upon them, she added, noting that Equatorial Guinea’s desire is for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from unilateral decisions that would only stoke extremism and inflame an already volatile situation. She went on to appeal to both Hamas and Fatah to work towards a definitive agreement that would enable the Palestinian Authority to carry out its role in Gaza as it does in the West Bank. Emphasizing that the two‑State formula is the only way to end the conflict, she stressed that the Council must redouble efforts to push Israel and the Palestinians to set aside the obstacles hindering their resumption of direct negotiations.
WU HAITAO (China) called upon Israelis and Palestinians to “keep in mind the big picture”, exercise restraint, halt military action and facilitate the easing of tensions. The Council and others with influence must remain united and work hard to encourage reconciliation, he said. The two‑State formula is the fundamental solution to the Palestinian question and the international community must scale up efforts to facilitate the resumption of negotiations, he said, emphasizing that any new initiative should contribute to the realization of two States living in mutual peace and security. Resolution 2334 (2016) must be implemented in full, he reiterated. Turning to the Golan, he underlined that it is internationally recognized as occupied territory, with the Council having adopted several consensus resolutions in that vein. China opposes any unilateral action that seeks to alter the facts on the ground, nor does it wish to see regional tensions escalate, he stressed.
VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said recent events confirm the fragility and explosiveness of the situation. Describing the launching of rockets into Israel as unacceptable, he called upon all sides to refrain from unilateral actions and the use of force. However, the status quo is not viable, he emphasized, calling upon Council members to redouble their collective efforts to relaunch negotiations aimed at realizing a two‑State solution. Palestinians and Israelis must negotiate on the basis of Council resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map. Russia will keep working towards restoring positive momentum, he said, adding that Moscow’s proposal to host a summit of Israeli and Palestinian leaders remains on the table. He went on to underline that any steps towards intra‑Palestinian reconciliation will only be effective if they are taken in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas. As for the Golan Heights, he said unilateral steps cannot change the territory’s status, which has been determined by Council resolutions. That status is subject to direct Israeli‑Syrian dialogue, he stressed.
CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany) said the Security Council was created to maintain international peace and security and Council resolutions are binding. Noting that the United States is now violating Council resolutions, he advised Israel and the State of Palestine to avoid exchanging accusations in their statements. “Put your speeches aside and focus on how you are implementing resolution 2334 (2016),” he urged. Abiding by international law is the best way to protect civilians so that they can live without fear of Israeli bulldozers and Hamas rockets, he said.
KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said her delegation shares the dismay of other members that the Council must meet repeatedly to condemn the violence on the part of both Israelis and Palestinians. The United Kingdom supports efforts by Egypt and the United Nations to broker a ceasefire, she added. The cycle of violence undermines the humanitarian situation in Gaza, she said, while also expressing concern about Palestinian deaths in the West Bank. All parties must restore calm, she emphasized. Regarding holy sites, she said they must remain under the custody of the King of Jordan. She went on to call for avoidance of future violence as the anniversary of the Great March of Return approaches. Regarding Israel’s settlements and the demolition of Palestinian homes, she called upon Israel to abandon such plans. Furthermore, Israel occupied the Golan by force, she recalled, emphasizing that the United Kingdom does not, therefore, recognize its sovereignty over that territory, and its Government has no plan to change that position.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), Council President for March, spoke in his national capacity, emphasizing the need for the Council to oversee implementation of resolution 2234 (2016). The situation on the ground is deeply troubling and has pushed the parties to the brink of war, he said, cautioning: “A return to a ceasefire should not blind us” about the incidents in the past several months because the conflict is complex. On the political front, there should be no further delays in the intra‑Palestinian reconciliation process, he stressed, calling for Palestinian unity and the restoration of the Palestinian Authority’s administration in Gaza. However, there can be no solution to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza without Israel lifting its blockade, he said, also cautioning against Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank. If unchecked, he warned further, this “nibbling away of territory integrity” will force Palestinians to abandon their aspiration to establish a State. The fate of Israelis and Palestinians is intertwined, he said. Any attempt to sidestep internationally agreed parameters are doomed to fail, he predicted, warning against unilateral measures, including the installation of embassies in Jerusalem. He underlined that France does not recognize the Golan since its occupation by Israel is in breach of international law.
RIYAD MANSOUR, Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, responded to the remarks by Germany’s representative by stating that occupying Power “on the other side of the table” is, under the protection of a Council member, failing to implement relevant Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). “I beg you, find a way to implement your resolutions,” he said, underlining that until the Council finds a way to do so, it will have no option but to listen to more statements. He said that his delegation has alerted the Council week after week to the increase in Israel’s violations against Palestinians, calling upon it to protect civilians and implement its own resolutions — all to no avail, due to obstruction by a permanent member. Today, Palestinians are again fearing for their lives as Israel takes to the skies, dropping bombs and missiles on civilians while terrorizing them in blatant acts of aggression and collective punishment, in grave breach of international law. While some see cyclical wars on Gaza as the norm, “there is nothing normal about imprisoning, isolating and terrorizing 2 million people” for more than a decade, he emphasized.
Ahead of the first anniversary of the Great March of Return, he said, the Council cannot ignore the Commission of Inquiry finding that — besides the incidents of 14 May and 12 October — there are reasonable grounds to believe that Israel’s use of live ammunition against demonstrators was unlawful. The idea that the security of one must be achieved at the expense of the other is as offensive as it is illegitimate, he stressed, noting that such actions are part of a long‑running campaign of violence waged against Palestinians by Israel’s military forces and extremist settlers. Palestinian leaders have unequivocally condemned violence against civilians and “we reject any libellous claims otherwise”, he said, underlining that their commitment to peaceful, political and legal means to realize their rights has been proven time and again.
He pressed the Council to demand that Israel respect its legal obligations, including its responsibility to ensure the safety of civilians under occupation, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. Calling for serious action to prevent further brutality, he recognized Egypt’s efforts to secure a ceasefire and urged the Council to demand an end to all illegal Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They are destroying the viability of a two‑State solution along the pre‑1967 borders, he warned, adding that the Council must demand that Israel immediately cease all provocations — including those perpetrated by extremist settlers — and attacks against the historic status quo of Haram al‑Sharif. “We urge you to act before it is too late,” he stressed.
DANNY BEN YOSEF DANON (Israel) said it is easy to talk about both sides showing restraint, but rockets are flying into Israel, including the one that fell 150 feet from his own home on 25 March. Israel is comfortable discussing implementation of Council resolutions, he added, but when rockets are flying, it will defend its people, and then it will talk. He proposed that the Council hold a closed session during next month’s German presidency to discuss the matter further. The launch of the long‑range rocket fired on 25 March, which injured seven people, was an act of terror for which Hamas is responsible, he continued. It was fired from a Palestinian civilian area into an Israeli civilian area, putting innocent people in the line of fire and making Hamas guilty of a double war crime. More than 130 more rockets were subsequently fired into Israel, which responded forcefully and will continue to do so as long as such attacks persist, he emphasized.
He went on to recall that Hamas has fired more than 12,000 rockets and mortars into Israel over the past 12 years. Its stated goal is to destroy Israel, but its other goal is to distract world attention from its oppressive rule of Gaza, where, in the past week, it arrested, beat up and shot Palestinians protesting against its terrorist regime, with no comment from UNRWA or the so‑called Human Rights Council. “We have entered a new reality”, with Hamas able to launch rockets deep into Israel, he said, adding that Monday’s incident was no accident, but a heinous terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel, which will not hesitate to take action. Israel expects the Security Council to clearly condemn Hamas and designate it as a terrorist organization, he said, stressing: “Twelve thousand rockets and mortars should be enough evidence to warrant such designation.” Israel will not accept that its children become targets for Hamas, he asserted. “If those attacks continue, the leaders of Hamas will feel the might of the [Israel Defense Forces] and be buried in the tunnels of Gaza.”
The representative of Germany took the floor a second time, saying that both his Palestinian and Israeli counterparts failed to answer his questions. To the State of Palestine: “How do you plan to stop incitement and rocket launches?” To Israel: “How do you plan to implement resolution 2234 (2016)?” He said that during next month’s German presidency, his delegation will consider holding an informal meeting with Israel and the State of Palestine, as proposed by Israel’s representative.
The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, responding to Germany’s representative, said incitement is coming from the other side and proposed the creation of a credible Security Council commission to observe the behaviour of both sides. Another commission can be stationed in Gaza and on the Israeli side to monitor violations of international law, including rocket launches, he added. “Step up to the plate, as you [Security Council members] are responsible for maintaining international peace and security,” he urged. As for the informal meeting proposed by Israel, he insisted that it must be open and televised.
The representative of Israel said his delegation does not oppose such commissions, but direct negotiations are the only way to move forward.