I thank Deputy Special Coordinator Lynn Hastings for her comprehensive briefing, and I thank Ms. Yudith Oppenheimer for sharing her perspective.
I warmly welcome the participation of the representatives of Palestine and Israel to our meeting today.
1. Two months after the ceasefire was announced, we remain very concerned about the continued violence in the Occupied Palestine Territory, particularly in the West Bank. The situation on the ground remains precarious. The latest incident in the West Bank village of Beita last Friday, 23rd of July, and previous similar flashpoints were very troubling. We urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from the use of excessive force, especially of live ammunition against civilians. The rhetoric and provocative actions that contributed to the dangerous dynamics on the ground must stop. Those actions and incidents have only deepened divisions between Israelis and Palestinians and complicated all efforts towards peace.
2. To stop this and the violence, we must tackle the root causes of the situation.
Firstly, the decades-long occupation, settlement activities, demolition, the threat of forced eviction and violations of the status quo of the holy sites in East Jerusalem are the major sources of resentment that lead to the protests. The incident in the illegal outpost of Evyatar last week was a typical example of how settlement activities may spark violence. Those activities constitute one of the triggers of the conflict. We once again call on Israel to end those activities immediately and to uphold and respect the historic significance and status quo of the holy cities of Jerusalem. We believe that it is in the security interest of Israelis themselves to do so.
Secondly, the lack of progress in the peace process has undermined the remaining hopes for peace. During times of intensified fighting, as in May, we witnessed strong efforts to reach a ceasefire, and we are grateful for them. However, it is equally imperative to maintain a similar level of focus for long-term measures and steps. In this connection, we welcome the recent positive signals paving the way for dialogue and urge the leaders of all relevant parties to act with urgency to revitalize the peace process.
In the same vein, we welcome all initiatives aimed at bringing the relevant parties toward a just, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement. Viet Nam continues to support the two-State solution, including the establishment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital that peacefully co-exists alongside the State of Israel, with secure and internationally recognized borders on the basis the pre-1967 lines and negotiated settlement, and in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and the relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334.
3. Along the decades of endless violence in this conflict, children have suffered the most. They were killed or injured in indiscriminate attacks. They were exposed to all kinds of violence and provocative incitement. They were denied access to humanitarian aid, education, and medical care. Their homes were demolished. Their families were displaced, and many of them became homeless. Sadly enough, they lost faith in the ability of the international community, the authorities and even their parents to help and protect them. This is a tragedy with consequences for not only today but for generations to come.
4. With that in mind, the relevant authorities and the international community should redouble their efforts to stop violence, advance peace, and relieve the suffering of those affected by conflict. Humanitarian assistance is now more critical than ever for the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. We call on all relevant parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We commend the role played by United Nations agencies in providing assistance to those in need, particularly that of UNRWA. We call on international donors to continue their commitment to support humanitarian and reconstruction efforts to relieve the plight of the Palestinian people.
I thank you, Mr. President.