A ceasefire is urgently needed between Israel and Palestine in Gaza

Israeli and Palestinian flags painted on a broken wall Israeli and Palestinian flags painted on a broken wall © Ffikretow on iStock by Getty Images

This article is a brief presentation of the Security-Council Press Release on the ongoing  bloodshed between Israel and Palestine

Foreign ministers in the Security Council of the United Nations called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as the frictions between Israelians and Palestinians have sharply escalated. The Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, described the hostilities as “utterly appalling” and said that “the fighting must stop”. He stressed the UN remains committed to work with Israel and Palestine to realize a lasting and just peace. However, he highlighted that the only way to succeed is to return to negotiations with the goal of having two States on the basis of UN resolutions and agreements.

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, reported the deadliest escalation between Israeli military forces and Palestinian armed groups in seven years. In particular, he said 177 Palestinians and ten Israelis have been killed by Israeli air strikes and Palestinian militant rockets. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militants have launched more than 2,900 indiscriminate rockets from Gaza towards Israel. Nine Israelis, including five women and two children, and one Indian national were killed and over 250 injured. Moreover, in Gaza the humanitarian situation is more and more alarming. For example, the death toll is still on the increase. Gaza health authorities have indeed reported at least 44 children and 31 women killed and 1,200 injured as of this morning. Over 34,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

The health system is also undermined due to chronic drug shortages, inadequate equipment and the COVID-19 pandemic, which make the system unable to meet the needs of those injured during the violence. In the ensuing debates, foreign ministers agreed on the urgency to be prepared and ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations and bring about an end to its occupation. Palestinian civilians need protection and deserve compassion, solidarity and action. They are victims of dispossession, forced displacement, discrimination and denial of rights.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad of Tunisia, Othman Jerandi, claimed that the recent escalation of violence is a serious threat to international peace and security and the Council must not remain silent. In particular, the Council must ensure that Israel recognizes the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and that their rights under international law are fully respected. In the same vein, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, Ine Eriksen Søreide, reported that a de-escalation is needed, and civilians must be protected. It is essential that the international community protects people and addresses all the issues currently occurring in the crisis.

In conclusion, current hostilities can be only addressed by an objective assessment of the world order, the Permanent Observer of the League of the Arab states, Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz, wisely said. In order to do this, the Security Council must be able to answer some critical questions and invoke the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Moreover, it is crucial to set up effective negotiations between Israel and Palestine to result in a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. Finally, the international community must take action towards the two-State solution in order to commit to an immediate ceasefire.

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Author: Valentina Di Carlantonio

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