DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has now moved to Ireland.ie/un/newyork. If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

Please be advised that the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, New York website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Permanent Mission's website is now available at Ireland.ie/un/newyork.

Statement at UNSC briefing on the Middle East, Incl. the Palestinian Question

Thank you Mr. President, and thank you Special Coordinator Wennesland and Commissioner-General Lazzarini for your very helpful briefings. Daniel, it is very good to see you back in New York and thank you so much for your incisive insights. I think it has given us a lot of food for thought, so thank you for that.


Mr. President,


Today I wanted to focus on three issues: the protection of civilians, the issue of accountability and the critical issue of civil society space for Palestinian civil society.


Ireland welcomes that the ceasefire agreed on 7 August between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continues to hold.  We also welcome the lifting of additional restrictions, imposed on 2 August, on the crossings into the Gaza Strip. Nonetheless, we share concerns about the fragility of the ceasefire and the potential for another major escalation, particularly as tensions remain high in the West Bank.


 President, in all conflict protection of civilians must be paramount.


As a result of the hostilities this month, forty-nine Palestinians were killed, including seventeen children, in the Gaza Strip. It is appalling that once again we must address the killing of innocent children in this Council today. International humanitarian law is clear – any attack must comply with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions. All civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel must be protected.


We know what is needed to protect civilians in Gaza: a permanent ceasefire and the lifting of the blockade in line with Resolution 1860 of this Council. People in Gaza have nowhere to go. The most recent escalation has exacerbated the already severe humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. As we have heard from UNRWA and others, humanitarian actors are providing essential supports in Gaza. Continued support for UNRWA, as we have just heard from the Commissioner-General is so vital for all Palestine refugees. And it is absolutely essential.



Mr. President,


Ireland is gravely concerned at the alarming increase in Palestinian civilian fatalities, including the killing and maiming of children, in the West Bank including East Jerusalem as a result of the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces. We call on Israel to refrain from using excessive force, and for impartial and transparent investigations into all incidents that led to death or injury. Those responsible for violations must be held accountable.


Ireland condemns the gun attack on a bus carrying Jewish worshippers in Jerusalem on 14 August that led to the injury of eight civilians.


So long as there is an absence of accountability and the root causes of the conflict remain unaddressed, cycles of conflict and violence throughout the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel will continue.



Ireland is also concerned by Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention (which is now at its highest level since 2008). Ireland calls on Israel to act in accordance with its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, and in particular to refrain from arbitrary arrests and detention.


Mr. President,


The Israeli raids on six Palestinian civil society organisations on 18 August, and the measures which have followed are unacceptable and represent a worrying reduction of space for civil society in the oPt. In common with others, we have not received any information from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards these NGOs. Ireland supports the UN High Commissioner’s call on Israel to revoke the designations against Palestinian civil society organisations as terrorist entities.


We have serious concerns about the misuse of counter-terror legislation to reduce civil society space in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israeli incursions into Area A undermine previously signed agreements and the prospects for a two state solution.


Mr. President,


Ireland’s views on Israel’s settlement activity and practice of evictions and demolitions have been clearly stated in this Council before. Any settlement activity and advancement by Israel in the E1 area in particular would undermine the viability and territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian State and jeopardise the two-State solution.


We urge Israel not to proceed with its eviction decision in Massafer Yatta and its planned demolition of a donor-funded school in Ein Samiya. 


Finally Mr. President,



Ireland would like to reiterate the need to restore hope for a political horizon and a meaningful peace process towards a two-State solution based on the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states.


Ireland reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It is incumbent on the parties and on this Council, together with the wider international community, to revive direct and inclusive engagement, so that all Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.


Thank you Mr. President.

« Previous Item | Next Item »