I commend China for its dynamic and successful stewardship of the work of the Council in May 2021. I thank Mr. Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator on Middle East Peace Process, and other briefers for their comprehensive briefing.
We unequivocally condemn the recent brutal use of force by the Israeli forces which killed 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, 39 women, 17 elderly, and injured over 1900 people, many critically wounded, and displaced over 60,000 Palestinians. Israel deliberately and systematically targeted and caused damage and destruction to vital civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools, electricity networks, a desalination plant, commercial and media towers, and residential buildings and structures. The attacks and horrific violence unleashed by the occupying Israeli forces on the innocent devotees and civilians in Occupied Palestine territories including East Jerusalem, as well as the evictions of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, are flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.
We express our deepest condolences for the loss of lives and properties. We stand in strong solidarity with the people and government of Palestine. We are here today to tell this august Council that ending the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza did not end the catastrophe, and it will not bring back the loved ones fallen martyr or the homes that were destroyed, it will not spare the orphans and the bereaved from the devastating losses they have endured.
While we welcome the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, we also note with grave concern that we have had too many ceasefires over the last few decades. Israeli occupying forces and extremist settlers continue to carry on with their provocations, incitement and attacks on Palestinian civilians and on holy sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif. We call upon the international community, particularly the Security Council to ensure the full and effective implementation of the ceasefire.
Let me reiterate the following priorities:
First: This cycle of violence and Israeli aggression is nothing new. It only gets more brutal each time we fail to act and hold Israel accountable for its acts of aggression. We call upon the international community to make genuine efforts to address the root causes of the Palestine crisis; and to end this cycle of violence and injustice.
Secondly: The deterioration of the situation in the occupied State of Palestine, especially as we witnessed in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, is Israel’s making and responsibility and the inevitable result of its oppressive policies and colonial occupation. We must turn around the culture of inaction on the question of Palestine. The Security Council must fulfill its charter responsibilities. It must enforce compliance by Israel of all international human rights and humanitarian laws, and relevant UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and ensure justice for the Palestinian people and their just cause.
Thirdly: The humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people must be urgently met. The reconstruction of the besieged Gaza Strip must be a top priority right now, starting with providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the thousands internally displaced, especially in the context of the pandemic. We also need to strengthen the capacity of UNRWA by addressing its perennial fund crisis. Bangladesh will continue to support UNRWA with its annual contribution.
Finally: The persistent violations of all international laws by the Israeli occupation forces, and the sufferings of the innocent civilians creates a sense of perpetual injustice. The flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws and other international accords, and are tantamount to war crimes. Holding the violators accountable would be an important step in finding justice and lasting peace. In this regard, we welcome the developments in the International Criminal Court.
We strongly denounce all illegal acts of occupying Israeli forces and the government machineries and reaffirm Bangladesh’s unflinching commitment in realizing the inalienable rights of the brotherly people of Palestine for an independent homeland, based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Let me conclude by reaffirming Bangladesh’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people; and we stand firmly with them in realizing their legitimate rights and aspirations. This is imperative for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause and peace in the region. Bangladesh will support all efforts towards that end.
I thank you, Mr. President.