Joint stake-out by the EU members of the Security Council France and Ireland, joined by the former EU member of the Council Estonia and Council Member Albania on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, 26 May 2022

Delivered by Amb. Geraldine Byrne Nason, the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Ireland

I deliver this statement on behalf of the current and former European Union Members of the Security Council France, Ireland and Estonia, joined by Albania.

We deeply deplore the decision of the Israeli Higher Planning Council on 12 May to advance plans for the construction of more than 4,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank. We urge the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision.

The new housing units would constitute an additional obstacle to the two-State Solution. Israeli settlements are in clear violation of international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

This decision, as well as the retroactive approval of three illegal settlement outposts, demolitions and evictions affecting the Palestinian populations in East-Jerusalem and Area C, directly threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state.

We also urge the Israeli authorities not to proceed with any planned demolitions or evictions, especially in Masafer Yatta, which alone could result in the forced transfer of 1,200 civilians.

We call for a thorough and independent investigation that clarifies all the circumstances of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing, which occurred while she was covering an operation of the Israeli security forces in Jenin, and brings those responsible for her killing to justice.

We were deeply shocked by the violence exercised by the Israeli police towards the mourners at her funeral.

We condemn all acts of terrorism, including the recent terror attacks in Israel. There is no justification for terrorism or attacks against civilians.

We reiterate our call to uphold and respect the status quo on the Holy Sites in Jerusalem and stress the importance of Jordan’s specific role in this regard.

The deteriorating situation again highlights the need to restore a political horizon for a credible and viable peace process.