Thank you Special Coordinator Wennesland, for your briefing, your analysis of the situation on the ground, and for your impressive efforts to
de-escalate the situation.
We are deeply saddened by the casualties and loss of lives during the recent escalation in and around Gaza.
Norway strongly condemns all: acts of terror, indiscriminate attacks, and attacks against civilians.
We underline the need to protect civilians and fully respect international humanitarian law- including the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality.
And children must be protected, and never put in harm’s way.
President, Norway welcomes the ceasefire and commends all actors contributing to restore calm. We urge full compliance and observance of the ceasefire.
We also welcome the announcement that the border crossings have been reopened and that the Gaza power plant has restarted.
Since last week, border crossings into Gaza were closed, electricity was cut, and Gaza’s sole power plant shut down due to lack of fuel-
having a serious impact on the functioning of hospitals and emergency services.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is fragile and was already dire before this recent escalation.
As Special Coordinator Wennesland has emphasised, the recent use of violence may undermine the efforts to develop Gaza.
We must do all that we can to prevent it from getting any worse.
Over the past year we have seen significant improvements in Gaza- including increased work permits, expanded fisheries zones, and eased restrictions on trade.
We must secure these improvements so they are not lost.
President, it is important to have a holistic perspective as well.
The situation in the West Bank remains volatile and needs continued attention.
Israel must contain the drivers of conflict stemming from the occupation.
Several times, we have pointed to the need to stop illegal settlement building, to stop forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes, and to avoid actions that fuel tensions.
Similarly, it is important to avoid increasing tensions in Jerusalem.
Radical elements must not be allowed to escalate the situation around the holy sites.
And the historic status quo must be upheld.
If the tensions and the underlying drivers towards conflict are not addressed, there is a risk of new escalations, terror, and violence.
We urge the parties to return to negotiating an end to the conflict.