Thank you Mr President,
Norway condemns the massive use of military force used by the Israeli Defence Forces in their attempts to stop the firing of homemade rockets from Gaza. The numbers speak plainly: in the last few days of military operations in Beit Hanoun alone more than twenty Palestinian lives have been lost . More than 300 Palestinians, most of them civilian, many of them children, have lost their lives since the end of June. Many others are wounded, homeless and traumatized.
Israel has a right to defend itself and its citizens. However, once again we are witnessing Israeli military retaliations which are disporportionate and contrary to international humanitarian law, and which only serve to cultivate hatred and continued armed resistance. This is not the way to improve Israel's security. There is no military solution to this conflict.
We urge Israel to end its incursion in Gaza.
Norway supports the efforts of president Abbas to establish a national unity government which will reflect the demands as set out by the Quartet. The parties must retto the negotiating table. Only this process can bring about the peace which all peoples of the region deserve.
Regarding the approach taken by the co-sponsors in the draft resolution, Norway underlines that all parties to the conflict have a responsibility to end the cycle of violence in the region. In this regard we also condemn this morning's urn attack by Qassam missiles into the Israeli town of Sderot.
We understand the rage and despair of those affected by violence against innocent civilians, but we strongly urge restraint in carrying out retaliations that will hamper the efforts towards dialogue and peace.