Israel-Palestine: Protection Of Civilians ‘Must Be Paramount’ In War Guterres Tells Security Council


The UN Security Council has been meeting at UN Headquarters in New York for what was a scheduled quarterly open debate on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, now given greater urgency by the Hamas attacks of 7 October and the deepening humanitarian crisis as the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip continues. The UN chief said the situation “is growing more dire by the hour”, repeating his call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister, spoke acknowledging the greatest crime of all committed by the Nazi regime in the last century.

“Never again”, to me as a German, means that we will not rest knowing that the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are now being held hostage by terrorists in Gaza, said the Federal Minister.

For Germany, Israel’s security is non-negotiable. Like any other State in the world, Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism within the framework of international law.  

Addressing the plight of the Palestinians in no way contradicts this clear and unwavering stance. It is a key part of it, she declared.

Sameh Shoukry Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt said the “Palestinian territories are going through horrific developments”, noting that the thousands of people had been killed there, including thousands of children. 

“It is shameful that some continue to justify what is happening, citing the right to self-defence and resisting terrorism”.

He asserted that silence in this case is tantamount to giving one’s blessing, and that calling for respect for international humanitarian law without describing specific violations, is tantamount to participating in the crimes.

Israeli diplomat calls on UN chief to resign

The Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called on the UN Secretary-General to “resign immediately” in a tweet at 11.22am, and at the stakeout outside the Security Council. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen also tweeted that he would not be meeting with the UN chief today for a scheduled bilateral. 

Ambassador Erdan told reporters at the stakeout that in noting the Hamas attacks “did not happen in a vacuum” in his address to the Council, the UN chief was “justifying terrorism”.

In response to questions concerning the Foreign Minister’s tweet, the UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that the Secretary-General would be meeting family representatives of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, adding they would be accompanied by a representative of the Israeli Permanent Mission to the UN. 

China’s Ambassador Zhang Jun said “the eyes of the entire world are on this Chamber,” calling on the Council to send a powerful, united message.

That includes an immediate ceasefire, which the Council must express in clear, unambiguous language. If not, the two-State solution could be jeopardized. States should uphold a moral conscience not double standards.

UN News

News provided by UN News Centre

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