GA: Explanation of the vote on the Gaza Resolution

Statement on behalf of Norway by DPR May-Elin Stener on Explanation of vote on the Gaza Resolution, 13 June 2018.

| General Assembly

President, Norway voted in favor of the resolution due to its consistency with our long-standing commitment to achieve a negotiated two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

It is important to us that the resolution calls for full respect by all parties for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including regarding the protection of civilians. Further, it condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror. It also deplores boththe use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, and the firing of rockets from Gaza against Israeli civilian areas.

Notwithstanding this, the resolution does not sufficiently reflect the complexities of the situation on the ground. There are three main shortcomings in the resolution:

First, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are omitted from the text. Hamas bears a major responsibility for the current instability and “de-development” in Gaza. Islamic Jihad and other militant groups are further aggravating an already tense and dangerous situation by using indiscriminate military force. Continued activities by these militant groups to build military installations and tunnels run counter to the interest and well-being of the people of Gaza. This should have been reflected in the resolution. This is why we supproted the US proposal.

Second, Israel’s right to protect its border and defend its territory, is also omitted. Norway supports Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, and stresses that the use of force must always be necessary and proportionate. That is why we have stated that it is unacceptable to use live ammunition against non-armed protestors in Gaza.

Third, the protection mechanism referred to in OP 8, OP9 and Op 15 in the resolution remains vague and creates unrealistic expectations, although the resolution provides the UNSG sufficient discretion to suggest the content and direction of such a mechanism.

These three shortcomings do however not outweigh the main substance of the resolution.

President, Improving the situation for the people of Gaza remains a top priority for us, as the Chair of the donor group for Palestine (AHLC). Gaza must remain an integrated part of Palestine, but to ensure full integration, the situation must improve, politically and economically. The PA must return to Gaza, access and movement restrictions should be lifted, and economic measures affecting the population in Gaza should be halted.

Thank you,