Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question


We thank Special Coordinator Wennesland for a substantive briefing on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also followed the remarks by Ms. Tania Hary.

Unprecedented escalation in the area of Arab-Israeli conflict remains in focus of global attention.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured as a result of Israeli armed raids in the West Bank in Jenin, Jericho, Nablus, Huwara; clashes that took place against the backdrop of violations of the status quo of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites, first of all the Al Aqsa mosque compound; and the escalation of violence in Gaza. The death toll among Israelis is also growing. Israeli air force continues to launch arbitrary strikes against Syria, including the bombardments of Aleppo airport, which is the gateway for humanitarian cargos that are delivered to help out those who suffered from the devastating earthquake. We must state with concern that the number of incidents on the Blue Line with Lebanon has also increased to cause the largest since 2006 exchange in rocket strikes.

This kind of degradation on the ground is triggered by the unilateral steps that create irreversible facts and by lacking prospects for reviving the peace process. First of all, this has to do with the record speed of construction of Israeli settlements. Only this year, permits were issued for erection of 7157 residential units, which is twice as many as in 2021 and 2022; and also with retrospect legalization of outposts that comes together with expropriation of lands and demolition of Palestinian houses.

Besides, arbitrary arrests of Palestinians are gaining momentum (more than 2,000 people have been detained since the beginning of the year), including minors. Cases of disproportionate use of force and enhanced socio-economic pressure have become more frequent too. What’s important is that neither the meetings in Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh nor the adoption of a PRST against such unilateral steps by Israel had any practical effect. Despite all that, building plans for 700 more residential units in Givat Hamatos in Eastern Jerusalem were endorsed in April.

In these circumstances, Palestinians put more stakes on the resistance and galvanize efforts to protect their legitimate rights in international bodies, such as the International Court of Justice, UN Security Council and General Assembly.

Clearly, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict exposes the double standards of our American colleagues. The United States continues with its unilateral attempts to upend the degradation on the ground by replacing the real political truce with an economic one.  Having blocked the activities of the International Quartet of intermediaries for the Middle East, the US stubbornly promotes the Arab-Israeli normalization while bypassing the need to find a just solution to the Palestinian problem. The main irony is that Washington, which aspires to be the only sponsor of the Middle East settlement process, has long ago and definitively lost the neutrality and impartiality inherent in an honest broker. Decisions of the previous US Administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights put a cross on the US commitment to key UNSC and UNGA resolutions.


Against these alarming developments, we cannot but welcome the long-awaited decision of the League of Arab states on the return of Syria to the Arab family. We are convinced that the resumption of Syrian participation in the LAS, of which it is one of the founding states, will improve the overall setting in the Middle East, including the area of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The decision of the Arab League demonstrated that the Arab world wants to strengthen coordination in the interests of settling the region’s pressing problems via negotiations.

We are convinced that the international community must also continue to advocate that there should be no alternative to restarting direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations within the universally recognized international legal framework on all final status issues - borders, refugees, water resources, and Jerusalem. Only a real resumption of the peace process, with a two-state solution at its core, will contribute to reducing violence and radicalization and restoring mutual trust in the Middle East.

Thank you.


Video of the statement