30th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the OPT, 27 May 2021

Joint Nordic Statement by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at the 30th special session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

27 MAY 2021

Delivered by: H.E. Ms Anna Jardfelt, Ambassador, Permanent Representative

Madam President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and my own country Sweden.

The Nordic countries are deeply concerned over the recent flare-up of violence in Israel and Palestine. We regret the loss of civilian lives, especially the large number of children.

We welcome the cease-fire, which must be durable. The indiscriminate and recurrent firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas or any other group in the Gaza Strip is unacceptable and must stop. We recognise Israel’s legitimate right to protect itself and its citizens. At the same time, this must be in accordance with international law and obligations under international humanitarian law. The humanitarian and human rights situation in the Gaza Strip remains of grave concern.  

In order to break the recurring cycle of violence, the root causes of the conflict must be addressed. Settlement expansion, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law and must cease. The status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem must be respected and the right to worship upheld. Leaders must act responsibly and raise their voice against incitement.

It is necessary to mobilise international efforts in support of a credible process towards a two-state solution and an end to the occupation, in accordance with international law, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition.

Thank you, Madam President.