Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question


We thank Special Coordinator for the Middle East Tor Wennesland for a substantive briefing on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It clearly follows from what we heard today that the lack of solution to the Palestinian problem continues to provoke recurrent deadly outbreaks of violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, which pose an ever-growing threat to stability and security in the Middle East.

What adds to the protracted years-long stagnation of the peace process is the incessant unilateral and illegitimate steps by Israel that create irreversible facts on the ground and basically reduce to a zero any prospects for recovering direct talks among Palestinians and Israelis on a universally recognized international legal basis, which has at its core a two-state formula, which we unfailingly support.

The biggest challenges still have to do with construction of Israeli settlements and legalization of outposts in the OPT which proceed at a record pace, as well as the violent militarized raids by Israel in the West Bank (Nablus, Jericho, Jenin) and also with systematic violations on the status quo of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites, first of all the provocative visits of representatives of Israeli leadership to Al Aqsa mosque compound.


This year the authorities of Israel have speedily endorsed plans for construction of more than 12,000 housing units and forceful eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Western Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, i.a. as a result of illicit action by the settlers.

Against this backdrop, the government of Israel is reported to have passed and financed a plan for preservation of Israeli archeological sites in Area C of the West Bank in order to “strengthen roots in Judea and Samaria”. Such plans clearly violate the Oslo Agreements, and also a number of international treaties for protection of cultural heritage under an occupation.

This year also risks becoming one of the deadliest. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed (including women and minors), thousands have been injured (the Israeli operation in Jenin alone resulted in 140 people sustaining wounds and injuries). The situation on the ground has received another development. I mean the unprecedented spiral-up of violence against both Palestinian and Israeli civilians. Against this backdrop, Israel's air forces continue launching arbitrary strikes against Syria, including the suburbs of Damascus.

With such explosive situations, adequate reaction from the global community is crucial.  In this regard, we believe the pending visit of Secretary-General Guterres to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone is going to be very timely. This being said, we underscore that for many years we have spoken up in support of all relevant initiatives, including ideas to organize a Security Council trip to the region to visit the Palestinian territories and Israel.

Russia has been stating consistently that there is no other way out but to set forth relevant efforts, including in the framework of the Quartet of international intermediaries for the Middle East, aimed at reviving the peace process and direct Palestinian-Israeli talks on all issues pertaining to final status. In this context, recovery of inter-Palestinian unity on the PLO platform remains key. A meaningful step towards this goal has been made at a meeting on 30 July in El-Alamein, which proposed to establish a special committee for promoting dialogue and monitoring prior agreements.


In conclusion, I would like to stress again that comprehensive support for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and neighboring Arab countries via international humanitarian organizations must continue. The key actor here is the specialized UN Relief and Works Agency, whose activities have both humanitarian and political aspects and produce a crucial stabilizing effect on states in the Middle East.

Thank you.


Video of the statement