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Palestinians inspects the damage on the aftermath of a suspected Jewish arson attack that targeted mosques in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Beit Safafa, in Occupied Jerusalem, on January 24, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

NEW YORK: The UAE urged the international community to de-escalate and reverse the negative trends to resolve current crises in the Middle East to bring regional and international stability, during the UN Security Council Quarterly Open Debate on Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.

Speaking before the Council Amierah Alhefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the UAE to the UN, called on the international community to uphold their commitment to international law, the UN Charter and relevant resolutions.

In this regard, she expressed concerns regarding the continued illegal practices by Israel against the Palestinian people, including the continued building of settlements which undermines the two-states solution and violates the Fourth Geneva Convention (1994) and relevant Council resolutions, including 2334 (2016).

Demolition of Palestinian property

She also stated that the demolition of Palestinian properties and the confiscation of their land, violations of the sanctity of holy places in Jerusalem, and the continued blockade on Gaza are illegal practices obstructing peace efforts and exacerbating the suffering of the Palestinian people.

She also highlighted the region’s urgent need to strengthen the implementation of international law in order to build confidence between the parties and achieve regional stability and security.

She stressed the importance of states respecting the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

Alhefeiti underlined that de-escalation and enhancing the effectiveness of political action should be the primary option in addressing any tensions occurring in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or in the region.

She also underlined the importance of strengthening multilateralism to break the deadlock in the Middle East Peace Process and urged parties to reach lasting political solutions in Palestine or in other countries in the region such as Syria, Yemen and Libya, in line with the agreed parameters for peace and to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the people.

Alhefeiti stated that the international community must focus on creating an environment conducive to peace efforts in countries affected by crises, and address any measure that may have serious security, military and economic repercussions on these countries or the region.

Germany praised for Libya efforts

To this end, she commended Germany’s efforts in convening the Berlin Conference on Libya that was held earlier this week and in which the UAE participated, referencing it as an example of mobilizing international efforts to address any negative developments which could exacerbate crises rather than solving them.

She expressed hope that the conference would lead to a UN-sponsored political process and that all parties will commit to implementing the outcomes of the conference.

Additionally, Alhefeiti emphasised the vital role the UN and the envoys of the Secretary-General play in promoting mediation and preventative diplomacy to resolve the conflicts in the region through peaceful means.

She also noted that regional organisations must be engaged in consultations related to regional issues, including the League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as they are best positioned to find effective political solutions.

In this context, Alhefeiti also called on the international community to intensify its efforts to implement the two-state solution and declare an independent Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant resolutions, the Madrid Principles, and the Arab Peace Initiative.

She stressed that the Palestinian issue would remain central and most important issue to the Arab region and the principal concern of Islamic nations.

Just solution needed for Palestine

She added that restoring stability to the region cannot be achieved without a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.

Lastly, Alhefeiti called for intensifying humanitarian and development assistance for conflict-affected nations to enable them to prosper and achieve the sustainable development goals.

In this regard, she emphasised the need to address the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the Palestinian Territories and to support Palestine’s vital sectors – especially in the Gaza stip.

She reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, highlighting that in addition to being one of the largest donors to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the UAE has contributed over US$ 630 million to fund various sectors in Palestine in the last five years