Intervention by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Amb. Martín García Moritán
Argentina wishes to make a statement with regard to “The situation in the Middle East” and “Question of Palestine”, agenda items 38 and 39, respectively, which my country follows with concern.
Argentina reaffirms its support for a peaceful, definitive and comprehensive solution of the question of Palestine, on the bases of the two-State solution within the borders of 1967 and whatever the parties decide upon during the Peace process.
After 25 years of the Oslo Accords, the Peace Process between Palestinians and Israelis is going through its most difficult time. In this particular conjunction, Argentina resolutely supports all efforts towards achieving peace and stability in the region. We encourage the regional actors, as well as the countries which are friends of Israel and Palestine to work in a constructive manner to assist the parties to move forward in the peaceful settlement of their differences with a view to the resumption of negotiations on all the final status issues identified in the Oslo Accords, namely, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, borders and security measures.
The seriousness of the situation on the ground demands a collective effort to keep alive the prospect of the two-state solution, as established in the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Argentina reaffirms its support to the inalienable right of the Palestine people to self-determination and to constitute an independent and viable State, recognized for all nations, as well as the right of Israel to live in peace with its neighbors, within safe and internationally recognized borders.
Moreover, Argentina reiterates its concern for the persistent and continues growth of the illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine Territory and call to cease their expansion. As it has been recalled in several opportunities by this General Assembly, the settlements are contrary to international law; they are and obstacle to peace; they weaken the prospect of two States living in peace and security and, therefore, promote the perpetuation of an unsustainable status quo. The gravity of this situation has been recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 2334(2016), the terms of which we fully reaffirm.
At the same time, the attacks against Israeli citizens are completely inadmissible and must stop immediately. My country condemns in the strongest terms all terrorist acts, as well as the hostile actions of Hamas and other Palestine organizations, which includes the launch of missiles from the Gaza Strip to Israel territory.
In this context, we recognized the right of Israel to exercise its legitimate defense. Notwithstanding, we recall that all Israel actions in accordance with that right should be compatible with international humanitarian law, bearing in mind, inter alia, the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants, proportionality and military necessity of the use of the force.
We call upon the Palestine organizations which haven’t recognized Israel yet, to renounce to the use of violence and to respect the existing agreements. We acknowledge the positive role of Egypt and the United Nations in the cease-fire agreement of 13 November and we encourage all the actors involved in Gaza to refrain from taking measures which could jeopardise the sustainability of that agreement.
In the light of the financial difficulties that UNRWA is going through, Argentina would like to reaffirm its full support to the work of the Agency and the need that the international community to come up with an appropriate response to ensure the funds needed by UNRWA to avoid the interruption of its services.
With regard to the situation in East Jerusalem, Argentina highlights the special status of Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 478(1980), and, in that regard, rejects any unilateral attempt to modify it, in particular with regards to the the Old City, which has a special significance for the three major monotheistic religions. My country believes that the Holy City should be a place of coming together and peace, and that free access to the holy sites must be guaranteed for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Any attempt to deny or to relativize the historical connection and the profound meaning of those places with whatever of the three religions are completely unacceptable, does not contribute to the goal of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict and reinforce prejudices and mistrust between the parties. Argentina considers that Jerusalem is one of the final status issues which must be agreed by the parties in bilateral negotiations.
With regard to the Syrian Golan, Argentina maintains a principled position on the illegal acquisition of territories by force and on respect for the territorial integrity of States. We firmly believe in the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes, and we consider it important to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict between Syria and Israel, with a view to putting an end to the occupation of the Golan Heights as soon as possible, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace.
To conclude, Argentina would like once again to urge Palestinians and Israelis to resume peace talks while acting in good faith, with flexibility and in accordance with international law, with a view to reaching an agreement on outstanding issues concerning the final status of Palestine in all its aspects.