SC: The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Statement delivered by Permanent Representative Ambassador Merete Brattested


Let me start by stating in no unclear terms that Norway is a staunch supporter of Palestine’s right to statehood. The two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace between Palestine and Israel and regional stability.

Norway has been clear that we are ready to support an application for membership in the United Nations for Palestine if the issue is brought before the General Assembly. It is deeply unfortunate that the Security Council was unable to support, the Palestinian request for membership.

We will continue to work closely with partners in and outside the region for the purposes of realizing Palestinian statehood as expeditiously as possible.


The Secretary General has described the Middle East as a region on the brink. Recent escalations have taken us closer to the regional war we all have warned against for a long time. People all over the region are affected.

Norway has condemned the recent attacks between Israel and Iran.  We urge all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further regional escalation.

In Palestine, more than 33 000 people are reported killed since October 7, including more than 2% of all children in Gaza. Day after day, people in Gaza have witnessed families destroyed, entire neighborhoods razed to the ground and an unimaginable number of people inflicted with the most horrific injuries.  The UN reports on risk of famine. The conflict is ongoing. We cannot afford to lose sight of this ongoing catastrophe.

Still, more than 130 Israeli hostages are kept away from their families and loved ones. Reports of sexual violence keep reminding us about the horrors of the attacks. More than 100 000 Israelis are still evacuated waiting to come home.  


We commend Egypt, Qatar, the US, and others for their efforts to broker a cease fire in Gaza. We have warned about the consequences of continued military operations, including in Rafah. We remind everyone that Resolution 2728, adopted by this Council last month, is binding and we reiterate our demands for a cease fire, humanitarian access, and the release of hostages.  

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic and access to those in need remains a major challenge. Israel’s announcement on the opening of an extra border crossing and the use of Ashdod harbor is positive and must urgently be implemented. Much more must be done to facilitate access and protect aid workers.


The continued expansion of illegal settlements and increase in violence in the West Bank is extremely concerning. The establishment of a two-state solution is the only way to achieve security and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians alike. It is also vital for peace and stability in the region.

Norway supports regional efforts to help bring about a political settlement to the conflict, including the Arab Peace Plan.


Palestinian statehood is a condition for the realization of the two-state solution, in line with the UN partition plan of 1947.

Norway formally recognized the State of Israel and contributed to the majority vote in the Security Council for admitting Israel as a full member of the UN, based on the same plan.

This also means that a Palestinian state must comprise the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and be based on the 1967 borders.

Norway works closely with the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and supports his reform agenda. As chair of the donor coordination group, [AHLC], we encourage partners to continue political and financial support to PA.


This is the time to call for de-escalation. I call on all members of this Council to act, and to take the responsibility that you are entrusted with. This Council and leaders of the Middle East region must use their powers to break the current cycle of violence. The war in Gaza must stop. We need an immediate ceasefire, full humanitarian access and adequate protection of civilians in line with international law. Norway will continue to work closely with all partners to this end.   

Thank you.