Thank you Mr President,
Norway is very concerned by the recent escalation of violence between militants in Gaza and Israel. We deplore the high number of civilian casualties.
Norway condemns the rocket attacks on Israel, and recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself and to protect its own people. However, Norway strongly urges Israel to show restraint and to refrain from any actions that could constitute a violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. We call on all parties to end the violence.
The measures introduced by Israeli authorities to punish the entire Gazan population for the actions of militant groups are unacceptable. Moreover, such measures are counterproductive. The armed groups seem to cope well and continue to receive funding and weapons. The suffering of the civilian population increases.
Gaza is dependent on Israel for deliveries of fuel and for vital humanitarian supplies, as well as for the import and export of commercial goods. The Israeli closure regime around Gaza is destroying the economy, society and community in Gaza. Together with many likeminded countries, Norway has been alarmed by recent events and has strongly urged Israeli authorities to restart fuel supplies and open the crossings for the passage of humanitarian and commercial supplies.
Norway is convinced that the only solution is a political solution. Only a credible political process, initiated at Annapolis, and which includes Gaza and the entire Palestinian people can lead to peace. The international community must continue to support this political process
We believe it is important for the credibility of the Human Rights Council that we are able to discuss and take relevant decisions on Human Rights situations as and where they occur. In order to ensure that these decisions are implemented, we all have a responsibility to work towards a consensual outcome. This was the approach taken during the 4th and the 5th special session, and we expect no less of the Council on the issue before us today.