UNGA 10th Emergency Special Session: EU Explanation of Vote; Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

UNGA 10th Emergency Special Session; Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory; Explanation of Vote by H.E. Ms.Kirsti Lintonen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, New York, 17 November 2006.

The European Union has voted in favour of the draft resolution contained in document A/ES-10/L.19/Rev.1 (orally amended).  We highly appreciate the constructive spirit of the negotiations that resulted in a text that enabled the EU to support this resolution.

The European Union underlines that an immediate cessation of violence is needed to allow an urgent return to a comprehensive peace process in the Middle East with a clear political perspective. We reiterate our intention to actively contribute to the work within the Quartet to get the peace process urgently back on track.

The European Union strongly deplores the Israeli military action in Gaza resulting in a growing number of civilian casualties, including women and children, and deplores the unacceptable military operation in Beit Hanoun on 8 November 2006. While recognising Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence, we urge Israel to exercise utmost restraint and underline that action should not be disproportionate or in contradiction to international humanitarian law. 

The European Union also strongly deplores the firing of rockets on Israeli territory and calls on the Palestinian leadership to bring an end to such acts. Violence is not the solution. We call for an end to violence and for restraint from all sides.

 We must bear firmly in our minds the overriding goal, an early resumption of dialogue between the two parties with a view to re-launching negotiations on the basis of the Roadmap, relevant UNSC resolutions and the commitments made at Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005.

The European Union reiterates its continuing support to Israeli and Palestinian efforts to advance the peace process.