Thank you Special Coordinator Wennesland for your briefing.
We share your concern about the deteriorating security situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Your efforts, and that of your team, towards de-escalating the situation are crucial.
We urge all actors to engage with the Special Coordinator, and we can assure you of our support.
Norway also echoes the Special Coordinator’s concerns that mounting violence is fueling a climate of fear, hatred, and anger.
This cycle of violence has the potential to spin out of control. Such a development would be detrimental to the security of both Israelis and Palestinians. We urge all actors to avoid actions and rhetoric that may contribute to further escalation.
We are particularly worried about the increased use of live ammunition. Over 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this year- according to OCHA – making 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2006.
Settler violence also remains a major concern.
Norway condemns all violence against civilians, including all acts of terrorism.
We urge the parties to: do their utmost to protect civilians- especially children; exercise the utmost restraint when the use of force is considered necessary; and to ensure that any force used is proportional to the threat faced.
We denounce any use of force that results in the killing or injury of civilians.
Such incidents should be subject to an independent investigation- in line with international standards.
We are also concerned by the reported increase in the number of children detained, and physical violence against children during detention.
We call on the Israeli authorities to uphold international law, and to adhere to juvenile justice standards- including the use of detention as a measure of last resort, and for the shortest period of time.
Movement restrictions have a significant impact on access to education and health care in the occupied West Bank.
We welcome the Israeli decision today to lift some of the closures that were put in place around Nablus earlier this month. Norway calls on the Israeli authorities to continue easing movement restrictions in Nablus and other places in the West Bank.
We call on Palestinian factions to come together under a unified leadership with a commitment to the two-state solution, and peace.
Palestinian unity and national elections are key to ensure legitimacy of the PA and its institutions. We welcome the sentiments expressed by Palestinian factions in Algiers earlier this month.
And we urge Palestinian factions and key regional actors to continue consultations to advance national reconciliation.
Norway is deeply concerned about UNRWA’s recurrent critical financial situation.
It is time to act on the Secretary-General’s recommendation to increase UNRWAs funding from the UN’s assessed budget.
And we call on all to support initiatives toward this end.
We have seen a significant positive achievement in the region recently.
We welcome the historic agreement establishing a permanent maritime boundary between Israel and Lebanon.
We commend Israel and Lebanon- as well as the United States- for their efforts to reach this agreement.
So let me conclude by offering one clear message: Cycles of violence and conflict are not inevitable – they can be reversed through re-establishing a political horizon, and returning to the negotiating table.
Norway continues to support the two-state solution, and will continue to work towards this goal.