Delivered by Estonian Ambassador Sven Jürgenson
I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the three current EU Members of the Security Council, Estonia, France and Ireland and the former EU Members of the Council, Belgium and Germany, and Norway and the UK.
We are deeply concerned at the recent repeated demolitions and confiscation of items, including of EU and donor funded structures carried out by Israeli authorities at Humsa Al-Bqai’a in the Jordan Valley, as well as at its impact on its community of approximately 70 people, including 41 children. These large-scale demolitions and confiscations confirm once again the regrettable trend of demolitions and confiscations since the beginning of 2020. We reiterate our call on Israel to halt demolitions and confiscations. We further call on Israel to allow full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to the community in Humsa Al-Baqai’a. We recall our firm opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes and humanitarian assets, which are illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are an impediment to a viable two-state solution.
We reiterate our call to all parties to refrain from taking unilateral measures, which risk undermining the recent progress made in Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.
In this regard, we welcome the engagement of the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee on 23 February, alongside the international community and key donors. We encourage the parties to build on this momentum to take steps to build trust. In line with the AHLC recommandations, we encourage them to continue cooperation on vaccines and other measures to bring the pandemic under control, as well as to engage in solving the outstanding fiscal issues which can substantially increase and stabilize the revenues to the PA. The technical committees required to advance key projects, including the Joint Economic Committee, should resume.
Demonstrating commitment to improving the health and economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is crucial to building trust between the parties and creating an environment that is conducive to future direct negotiations that can lead to a peaceful two-state solution.