Security Council: Explanation of Votes on Kuwait and US drafts on Gaza
Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York
New York, 1 June 2018
Mr. President, in honor of your presidency - spasiba gospodin predsedatyel!
My statement concerns both resolutions. First of all we thank Kuwait for taking the initiative to present the resolution, addressing the recent crisis in Gaza. We are thankful for a transparent process and for the extensive efforts to accommodate the concerns of Council members. We highly appreciate the continuous engagement by Kuwait with Council members in drafting this resolution.
As we have said before: this Council should be able to unite and should be able to formulate a joint response to the developments of the past weeks. We regret we have failed to do so today. We witnessed the repeated protests in Gaza as well as the heavy handed Israeli response that led to the death of 110 Palestinians and many more injured. This was the highest number of casualties since the end of the 2014 hostilities. The firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian military groups on the 29th of May and following counter attacks were the most serious escalation since 2014. As we have discussed also in this Council yesterday, this shows again that the risk of escalation and of the violence spiraling out of control is very high. Protection of civilians is crucial as both Palestinian and Israeli civilians should not have to live in fear.
Regrettably the Kuwaiti draft resolution that was put to the vote today did not fully reflect our concerns with regard to addressing the needs of all civilians, nor the negative role of Palestinian militant groups in Gaza specifically. Nor remaining questions on the international protection mechanism. We welcome that the US draft resolution did condemn the role of Hamas, but it did not cover the broader context. Nor Israel’s responsibilities and obligations. So we abstained on both resolutions.
Mr. President, we repeat our call on all parties to exercise restraint, to avoid escalation and to prevent incidents that put the lives of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians at risk. We confirm our firm support for the work and proposals of Mr. Mladanov. It was of the utmost importance that the efforts to address the crisis in Gaza continue in order to bring humanitarian relief to those in need. Ant to prevent further escalation. We call on all parties to engage constructively.
In conclusion Mr. President, we confirm our strong commitment to the peace process. The Peace Process that should result in the two-state solution. That is the only way to a sustainable solution to the crisis in Gaza. It is the only way to fulfill the aspirations of both sides and put an end to the conflict. And it is the only way to achieve the just and lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians long for and they deserve.