GA: The Situation in the Middle East - Question of Palestine

Statement delivered by Permanent Representative Ambassador Merete Fjeld Brattested


It remains Norway's firm position that only a negotiated two-state solution based on the internationally agreed parameters can lead to durable peace.

The period after 7 October has clearly illustrated that lasting stability between Israel and Palestine, and not least in the region, cannot be achieved without addressing the Question of Palestine.

More than seven weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have led to a scale of human suffering that is unprecedented and that has shocked the world. This includes the heinous terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7 which Norway has condemned, and Israel's military operations in Gaza, which is not compatible with the protection of civilians required by international humanitarian law. It has gone too far. We reiterate our call for a durable and sustained humanitarian ceasefire.

We condemn the attacks against civilians and UN workers, and we pay tribute to the heroic efforts of Palestinian humanitarian and health workers, who are risking their lives in order to alleviate the suffering of others.

Norway has been clear about Israel’s right to self-defense, within the limitations of international law, and that all military operations must be in line with international humanitarian law. We have particularly emphasized that both parties to the conflict must protect  civilians affected by the hostilities and humanitarian aid workers.



For the past four days the world has witnessed what can be achieved when the guns are silenced.

Norway welcomes the steps taken by the parties over the past days to commit to a temporary humanitarian pause  and to the release of hostages. We thank Qatar, Egypt and USA, as well as ICRC, for their efforts to facilitate the agreement.

This pause in the fighting has allowed the UN and partners to scale up delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, including the northern parts. 

We urge all parties to further extend the agreement beyond the current pause, to release the remaining hostages, and to cease hostilities. 



Access must be dramatically improved and sustained. Humanitarians cannot be the main provider of all goods to Gaza. We need to discuss how commercial goods can start crossing over to Gaza and re-establish local markets.

The current situation is unbearable: It leads to unacceptable human suffering , it increases regional tensions, and it undermines diplomacy and prospects for a durable solution.  

We urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to commit to a process that could constitute a peaceful path towards a lasting settlement .

The international community must continue to support Palestinian institution-building and the unification of all of Palestine under one legitimate authority. Israel must stop policies and actions that weaken the Palestinian Authority. If the critical financial situation is not improved, this could lead to further destabilisation of the West Bank and, in the worst case, a collapse of the PA institutions.  

We have repeatedly expressed our deep concern over the continuing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.  The settlements as well as the violence perpetrated by settlers have reached an unprecedented scale, and must  stop.



Norway will continue its efforts to stabilize and strengthen Palestinian institutions as Chair of the donor group to Palestine, the AHLC.

To reiterate our core message; only a negotiated two-state solution can achieve lasting and durable peace between Israel and Palestine, and in the region.

I thank you.