I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the EU Members of the Security Council, France and Ireland, and incoming Member Malta, joined by Albania, Norway, and Switzerland.
As we approach the sixth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 2334, we reiterate the Council’s demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in that regard. We are deeply concerned by the continued demolitions and seizures of Palestinian structures, as well as by the evictions of civilians, including in Masafer Yatta.
We deplore the sharp increase in violence against civilians on both sides, including children and women, with 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005. We equally deplore the terrorist attacks and deaths in Israel throughout 2022.
We are particualrly concerned at the high levels of settler-related violence over the past year, including reports of armed settlers carrying out attacks against Palestinians in proximity to Israeli security forces. We call for timely, transparent and independent investigations into all civilian casualties and for those responsible to be held accountable. We are particularly appalled that children continue to be victims of violence, with 42 Palestinian children and one Israeli child killed in 2022. Children must never be the target of violence or put in harm’s way. The number of children in administrative detention has more than doubled in the past two years. We call upon Israel to use detention as measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period.
Recent developments underline the urgent need to restore a political horizon towards a two-state solution. We fully support the efforts of Special Coordinator Wennesland and those of others to help resume credible negotiations aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law, relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreed parameters. We urge both parties to demonstrate their commitment to the two-state solution through concrete actions and to refrain from unilateral steps that would undermine it any further, including regarding the issue of the Holy Sites. It is essential to restore a political horizon towards a just and sustainable peace will enable Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace, dignity and security.