As Israel’s Aerial Bombardments Intensify, ‘There Is No Safe Place in Gaza’, Humanitarian Affairs Chief Warns Security Council
Delegates Reject Statements Proposing Palestinians Resettle Outside Territory
A staggering 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza — 1.9 million civilians — have been forcibly displaced amid Israel’s military operations, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council today, as delegates categorically rejected any statements proposing that Palestinians should be resettled outside of Gaza, including from members of the Israeli Government.
Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, painted a grim picture of the horrific situation in Gaza, where more than 23,000 people have been killed and more than 58,000 injured since 7 October. Shelters are overflowing, food and water running out, the risk of famine growing by the day and the health system collapsing, with winter “exacerbating the struggle to survive”. Describing as “deplorable” that facilities critical to the survival of civilians have come under relentless attack, he said that, as ground operations move southwards, aerial bombardments have intensified in areas where civilians were told to relocate for their safety.
“More and more people are being crammed into an ever-smaller sliver of land, only to find yet more violence and deprivation, inadequate shelter and a near absence of the most basic services,” he continued. “There is no safe place in Gaza” and dignified human life is “a near impossibility,” he said, adding: “Even if people were able to return home, many no longer have homes to go to.” Warning that the spread of hostilities further southwards would significantly increase pressure for the mass displacement of people into neighbouring countries, he firmly rejected any attempt to change the demographic composition of Gaza.
Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, recalled that massive displacement in the enclave commenced on 12 October 2023, with Israel ordering Palestinian civilians north of the Wadi Gaza to vacate their homes and go south. However, such compelled evacuation failed to comply with international law and could amount to forcible transfer — a war crime, she asserted.
Warning against the risks of further massive displacement — potentially even beyond Gaza’s borders — she said incendiary statements by some members of Israel’s leadership pushing for permanent resettlement of Palestinians overseas have entrenched fears that Palestinians are being deliberately forced out of Gaza. Their right to return home must be subject to “an ironclad guarantee” and Israel must support their return by restoring essential services and facilitating the necessary reconstruction of Gaza, given that the scale of destruction and the presence of unprecedented levels of explosive remnants of war represent major obstacles to their return.
In the ensuing discussion, numerous delegates rejected recent statements by Israeli ministers vis-à-vis plans to encourage the mass transfer of civilians from Gaza to third countries. Warning against a deepening humanitarian crisis and woefully inadequate aid levels, many called for an urgent and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
Algeria’s delegate underscored that the barbaric bombardment of Gaza and targeting of all signs of life is clearly aimed at killing “the hope of returning home in the hearts and minds of Palestinians.” Many officials of the occupying Power seek to terminate the Palestinian question by evacuating the entire occupied territory, he observed, rejecting the forced displacement as “there is no place for Palestinians except on their land”.
The representative of the United States rejected statements by some Israeli ministers calling for a resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza and opposed the advancement of settlements in the West Bank, highlighting her country’s visa restrictions against individuals who are undermining peace there. Concurrently, she expressed concern over some Council members’ refusal to condemn Hamas.
The representative of the Russian Federation cited the threat of forced transfer of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as “part of the bloody puzzle that makes up the picture of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza”. Civilian infrastructure in Gaza has been practically destroyed, while United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) institutions — providing refuge to forcibly transferred persons — have continued to be subjected to Israeli bombings, he observed.
Along similar lines, China’s delegate categorically rejected any forced displacement of the Palestinian people, noting that the “voluntary emigration” from Gaza that some Israeli leaders have called for would mean driving 2 million people out. That would constitute an atrocity crime under international law and destroy the prospect of the two-State solution, he said, also highlighting that Israel has placed numerous obstacles that block access to humanitarian supplies.
The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine said that, “in 100 days, virtually every Palestinian in Gaza has been displaced multiple times, from a home to a UN shelter to a tent — searching for safety everywhere, finding safety nowhere; searching for life anywhere, met by death everywhere.” Noting that the Palestinian people have been stripped of their right to live in freedom and dignity on their land for decades, he opposed Israel’s criminal vision offering only three options: death, exodus or subjugation.
Israel’s delegate, meanwhile, stated that “every UN body is weaponized against Israel by the Palestinians” and South Africa’s libellous case at the International Court of Justice is the epitome of the UN’s dystopian reality. “There is no forced displacement,” he said, citing his Prime Minister’s statement that Israel has no intention of displacing the population. Instead, Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists, who use Gazans as human shields, he pointed out, adding that his Government requested the temporary evacuation of civilians to mitigate civilian casualties.
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
MARTIN GRIFFITHS, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that, for nearly 100 days, what has been unfolding in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a war conducted with almost no regard for the impact on civilians. In Gaza, the situation remains horrific as relentless Israeli military operations continue, with the tens of thousands of people killed and injured, the vast majority women and children. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, more than 23,000 people have now been killed and more than 58,000 injured since 7 October. A staggering 85 per cent of the total population — 1.9 million civilians — were forcibly displaced, traumatized and forced to flee again and again as the bombs and missiles rained down. Highlighting the appalling conditions on the ground, he said shelters are overflowing, and food and water running out, and the risk of famine growing by the day. The health system is in a state of collapse: women are unable to give birth safely; children cannot get vaccinated; the sick and injured cannot get treatment; and infectious diseases are on the rise.
“Now winter has arrived in Gaza, bringing with it bitter cold, exacerbating the struggle to survive,” he said, describing as “deplorable” that facilities critical to the survival of the civilian population have come under relentless attack. A total of 134 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities have been hit and 148 UN personnel and non-governmental organization staff have been killed in Gaza. “Humanitarian sites have been struck on numerous occasions, despite their identification and notification to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF),” he asserted. As ground operations move southwards, aerial bombardments have intensified in areas where civilians were told to relocate for their safety. “More and more people are being crammed into an ever-smaller sliver of land, only to find yet more violence and deprivation, inadequate shelter and a near absence of the most basic services,” he stressed.
“There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said, noting that dignified human life is “a near impossibility”. Rafah, where the pre-crisis population was around just 280,000 people, is now home to 1 million displaced persons. UN efforts to send humanitarian convoys to the north have been met with delays, denials and the imposition of impossible conditions. The lack of respect for the humanitarian notification system puts every movement of aid workers in danger, as do the wholly insufficient quantities of armoured vehicles. “Corpses left lying in the road; people with evident signs of starvation stopping trucks in search of anything they can get to survive,” he said, describing scenes of utter horror in the north. “Even if people were able to return home, many no longer have homes to go to,” he said. Describing the provision of humanitarian assistance across Gaza as “almost impossible”, he pointed to “largely absent” access to Khan Younis and the Middle Area.
He went on to underscore that, while there has been some minor increase in the number of trucks entering via Rafah and Kerem Shalom, humanitarian supplies alone will not be able to sustain more than 2 million people. The system for medical evacuation of patients to Egypt is also woefully inadequate in the face of the massive needs. In these circumstances, the spread of hostilities further southwards would significantly increase pressure for the mass displacement of people into neighbouring countries. Some countries have already offered to host civilians who want to leave Gaza for their protection, he said, emphasizing that any persons displaced from Gaza must be allowed to return. Sounding deep alarm over recent statements by Israeli ministers vis-à-vis plans to encourage the mass transfer of civilians from Gaza to third countries, currently being referred to as “voluntary relocation”, he stressed that “any attempt to change the demographic composition of Gaza must be firmly rejected”.
“While Gaza is the epicentre of this crisis, let us not forget the 1,200 people killed, thousands injured, and hundreds taken in the brutal attack by Hamas and other armed groups on Israel on 7 October, and the accounts of abhorrent sexual violence,” he said, adding that rocket-fire continues into populated areas of Israel, causing more civilian casualties and trauma. Also, more than 100,000 people have been displaced within Israel as a result of the 7 October attack by Hamas and other armed groups and due to ongoing rocket fire from armed groups in Gaza and Lebanon. Expressing extreme concern about the risk of a further regional spread of this conflict, he spotlighted increasing tension and hostilities in the West Bank and an alarming increase in settler violence. The upsurge in tensions and military activity in Lebanon, the Red Sea and Yemen demonstrates that “we cannot allow this to metastasize further” as “the consequences of a wider conflagration would be unimaginable”, he warned. “What we have seen since 7 October is a stain on our collective conscience; unless we act, it will become an indelible mark on our humanity,” he said, urging for a ceasefire and calling on the Council to take urgent action to bring this war to an end.
ILZE BRANDS KEHRIS, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, described the current conditions in Gaza as “not just a by-product of conflict, but the direct result of the manner in which hostilities have been conducted”. Massive displacement in the enclave commenced on 12 October 2023 with Israel ordering Palestinian civilians north of the Wadi Gaza to vacate their homes and go south. Israel, however, has made “scant provision” to ensure such relocations comply with international law, failing to ensure access to appropriate hygiene, health, safety, nutrition and shelter. Such compelled evacuations could amount to forcible transfer, a war crime. Many civilians have sought in vain to find locations safe from Israel’s massive bombardment and other military operations.
Compounding a 17-year blockade imposed by Israel, the occupying Power is failing in its obligations to facilitate entry of sufficient aid and essential commercial goods into Gaza, she said. More than 90 per cent of the population is now suffering from acute food insecurity — many on the brink of avoidable human-made famine. Starvation of the civilian population as a method of war is prohibited, she warned, pointing to serious concerns about the potential commission of war crimes, as evidenced in the unacceptably high civilian casualty rate, the nearly complete destruction of essential civilian infrastructure, the displacement of most of the population and the abominable humanitarian conditions in which 2.2 million people are being forced to endure. The risk of further grave violations, even atrocity crimes, is real. With people desperate for safety and security, the Council must be alive to the risks of further massive displacement, potentially even beyond Gaza’s borders.
In that regard, incendiary statements by some members of Israel’s leadership pushing for permanent resettlement of Palestinians overseas have entrenched fears that Palestinians are being deliberately forced out of Gaza. Their right to return to home must be subject to “an ironclad guarantee”. Israel, as the occupying Power, must support their return by restoring essential services and facilitating the necessary reconstruction of Gaza, given that the scale of destruction and the presence of unprecedented levels of explosive remnants of war represent major obstacles to their near-term return home.
An immediate ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages are indispensable first steps towards a durable solution, she stressed, insisting that the protection of civilians must be prioritized. Settler violence in the West Bank must also be condemned and accountability must be vigorously pursued. “This current violence comes in the context of decades of human rights violations,” she said, emphasizing the need to address the underlying root causes of conflict, including accountability for violations committed before, on and since 7 October. An enduring peace can be built only by ensuring justice and the rights of all peoples — both of Palestinians and Israelis, she asserted.
AMAR BENDJAMA (Algeria) stated that what is happening in Gaza “will remain a disgrace on the conscience of humanity”. He asked if it is not enough to kill 10,000 children, injure more than 60,000 people and destroy more than 60 per cent of the buildings in Gaza, and for the entire population to face the risk of famine. The barbaric bombardment of Gaza and targeting of all signs of life is clearly aimed at killing “the hope of returning home in the hearts and minds of Palestinians”, he said. He noted that many officials of the occupying Power seek to terminate the Palestinian question by evacuating the entire occupied territory — as while the focus is on Gaza, “we must not forget the West Bank and Jerusalem.” Rejecting the forced displacement as “there is no place for Palestinians except on their land,” he called for an urgent and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) observed: “It has been more than three months since Hamas carried out the deadliest attacks against Jews since the Holocaust and set this conflict in motion”. Israel has committed to have the United Nations send an assessment team to north Gaza, she said, rejecting statements by some Israeli ministers calling for a resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza. Statements by Israeli officials calling for the mistreatment of Palestinian detainees or the destruction of Gaza are irresponsible, but she also expressed concern over some Council members’ refusal to condemn Hamas. On the unprecedented rise in violence in the West Bank, she noted that Palestinian extremist militants are carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians. Opposing the advancement of settlements in the West Bank, she highlighted her country’s visa restrictions against individuals who are undermining peace there. Further, the Palestinian Authority must make steps towards reform and revitalization, and Israel must release revenues that allow the Authority to pay its security forces. “At this profoundly difficult moment, the United States has stepped up” to advance a vision for a lasting peace, she added.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) expressed concern over the threat of forced transfer of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, guided by unlawful steps taken by the West and Jerusalem. “This is only part of the bloody puzzle that makes up the picture of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza,” he said, spotlighting the 23,000 deaths and the thousands still buried under ruins. Given the pace and power of strikes in populated areas, civilian infrastructure in Gaza has been practically destroyed. Further, most internally displaced or forcibly transferred persons have found refuge in UNRWA institutions that — despite their status — have continued to be subjected to Israeli bombings. This ghastly humanitarian situation demonstrates how catastrophic it could be to continue ignoring international law. While the 7 October attacks were reprehensible, they cannot legitimize Israel’s subsequent, indiscriminate use of force. Highlighting the Council’s failure to adopt a resolution unequivocally calling for an immediate ceasefire, he warned against further escalation.
JOSÉ JAVIER DE LA GASCA (Ecuador), recalling that his delegation called for an end to inflammatory statements more than a year ago, expressed regret that today’s meeting was convened exactly because of such rhetoric. The Council has clearly rejected the forced displacement of the civilian population of Gaza, including children, in violation of international law. Citing resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023), he deplored that the Council’s decisions have had a limited impact on the ground. Obviously, without a humanitarian ceasefire, those decisions cannot be implemented. However, “we cannot lose heart”, he said, urging the international community to do everything possible to improve the situation. He went on to condemn Hamas’ atrocious terrorist acts and called for both the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and for humanitarian-access guarantees.
BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom) firmly rejected any statements proposing that Palestinians should be resettled outside of Gaza, including from members of the Israeli Government. She voiced alarm that since 7 October, at least 198 Palestinian households, including 586 children, have been displaced following an increase in extremist settler violence, calling on the Government of Israel to not only condemn that violence but also take direct action. Warning that current aid levels into Gaza are woefully inadequate and deepening the humanitarian crisis, she noted that the World Food Programme (WFP) reports that 9 out of 10 people there have less than one meal a day. She called for a sustainable ceasefire in which Hamas no longer poses a threat to Israel’s security, aid is delivered without hindrance and Palestinians can return to the areas of Gaza from which they have been displaced — further noting that immediate, sustained humanitarian pauses will also allow for hostages to be released.
ZHANG JUN (China), noting that more than 23,000 people in Gaza have lost their lives, said that hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to survive in makeshift tents. Though an immediate ceasefire has become the overwhelming call of the international community, a permanent Council member has been using excuses to veto consensus. Some people talk constantly about the protection of human rights and prevention of genocide while stonewalling and deflecting attention from the appalling situation in Gaza, he added. Any forced displacement of the Palestinian people must be firmly rejected, he stressed, pointing out that the “voluntary emigration” from Gaza that some Israeli leaders have called for would mean driving 2 million people out. That would constitute an atrocity crime under international law and would destroy the prospect of the two-State solution. On the dire humanitarian situation, he noted that Israel has placed numerous obstacles that block access to humanitarian supplies. Welcoming the Secretary-General’s proposal to appoint Sigrid Kaag as United Nations Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, he underscored that only a ceasefire can prevent greater civilian casualties and create conditions for the early release of all hostages.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) underscored the urgent need to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid into and within Gaza, including through the opening of additional crossing points. Further, all arbitrary bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operations must cease, the safety of UN staff and humanitarian workers must be secured and the remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza must be immediately released. Establishing a humanitarian ceasefire is the only way to mount a meaningful humanitarian response throughout the entirety of Gaza, she stressed. Such a cessation of hostilities is also critical within the context of displaced Palestinian people, who must either be allowed to return to their homes or be provided with adequate, safe shelter until their homes are rebuilt. Accordingly, she rejected any attempt to forcibly transfer Palestinians out of Gaza, adding that Israeli settler violence is “unacceptable”.
YAMAZAKI KAZUYUKI (Japan) noted the unimaginable extent of human suffering in Gaza, warning that famine is imminent and humanity is in crisis. The international community must continue to work with a greater sense of urgency towards alleviating the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. While the Council adopted resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023), their effective implementation regrettably remains elusive due to the ongoing heavy fighting. “As violent regional spillover is already happening, what is most urgent is the de-escalation of the conflict,” he said, rejecting the recent inflammatory rhetoric by Israeli ministers on the “resettlement” of Palestinians outside of Gaza. Any attempt to forcibly displace the Palestinian people is inconsistent with relevant Council resolutions and violates international law, he said, stressing the need to create conditions to enable displaced Palestinians to return home safely while noting reports that Israel has agreed to allow the United Nations to carry out an assessment mission in northern Gaza.
SAMUEL ZBOGAR (Slovenia) expressed concern over statements made by some Israeli ministers proposing the mass displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, which would constitute a potential war crime under international humanitarian law. Noting that 85 per cent of Gazans have been displaced amid military operations, he called for humanitarian aid to be scaled up. He also expressed support for the appointment of Sigrid Kaag as Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, where essential infrastructure is damaged and no place is deemed safe. Hamas’ brutal acts — while unacceptable — cannot justify the disproportionate destruction of life and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, he stressed. “Condemning the statements on displacement is not enough,” he added, underlining the need to prevent actions leading to displacement. He therefore called for an immediate ceasefire to halt the destruction, facilitate the release of hostages and restore calm to the region.
MICHAEL IMRAN KANU (Sierra Leone) condemned in the strongest terms the heinous attack against Israeli civilians by Hamas and the taking of hostages, calling for their immediate and unconditional release. He further strongly condemned attacks on Palestinian civilians and infrastructure and collective punishment, rejecting any attempt to remove Palestinians from the Gaza Strip or the West Bank either temporarily or long-term. Voicing regret over the reported killing of about 23,000 Palestinian civilians, as well as the ultimate cost paid by UN and other humanitarian workers and journalists, he called for accountability for all those guilty of crimes against international humanitarian law. Expressing grave concern over the severe humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, he called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which would bring an end to atrocities and reduce regional tensions.
SANGJIN KIM (Republic of Korea), condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel, said that Gaza has become “a place of death and despair”. Even hospitals are targets for military operations and air strikes, he said, adding that there has been little improvement on the humanitarian front despite the adoption of resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023). “Countless trucks with humanitarian aid from numerous countries are lining up waiting for their turn to enter Gaza,” he said. Underscoring Palestinians’ right to live on their own land, he expressed concern over comments by high-level Israeli officials about the so-called “voluntary migration” of Palestinians out of Gaza. Resolution 2334 (2016) clearly condemns all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of Palestinian territory. “Gaza must not be resettled,” he stressed, adding that such inflammatory rhetoric does not help to ease the tensions that are now widespread across the Middle East.
CAROLYN RODRIGUES-BIRKETT (Guyana) expressed concern over the forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October, noting multiple instances of this within the territory. In this context, she sounded alarm over statements by certain officials suggesting that Palestinians in Gaza should be forcibly transferred to countries in the region and elsewhere. “Palestinian men, women and children have been herded into smaller and smaller spaces in the Gaza Strip and forced to eke out an existence in the most inhumane conditions and without an adequate supply of food, water, medicine, fuel and other basic items essential for survival,” she said. Further, displaced persons live with the constant threat of bombs killing or maiming them and their loved ones. Calling for an immediate ceasefire, she warned: “Displacement will continue, because people will have to keep moving in the hope of finding safety somewhere in the hell that is Gaza right now.”
DOMINGOS ESTÊVÃO FERNANDES (Mozambique) warned that regional escalation of the conflict in the Middle East has reached the highest level, underscoring the imperative that fighting must cease immediately before the consequences spread any further or before it is too late to stop and limit its repercussions. Council members have an obligation to ensure moderation and restraint. International laws must take precedence over these actions. “An immediate ceasefire is our best hope,” he said, as it would allow humanitarian access under Council resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023). Most importantly, it would potentially enable negotiations towards peace and a two-State solution: Israel and Palestine coexisting peacefully in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Council and the General Assembly.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) condemned the unjustifiable acts of terror committed by Hamas on 7 October, reiterating the call for all hostages still held in Gaza to be immediately and unconditionally released. Noting that, since that day, more than 23,400 people have been killed and more than 59,600 injured — with 85 per cent of the population of Gaza forced to flee — he condemned all statements aimed at expelling civilians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He also called for an urgent increase in humanitarian aid into Gaza, warning that famine is already affecting half a million Gazans and observing that the use of starvation as a method of warfare “may constitute a war crime”. On that, he recalled that the International Criminal Court is investigating the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, covering both the events of 7 October and those currently taking place in Gaza and the West Bank.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France), Council President for January, speaking in his national capacity, echoed the call for a lasting ceasefire, adding that this is vital to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilians in Gaza. His country will continue to provide humanitarian, financial and material aid to the Gaza Strip. Calling for the immediate release of all hostages, he said the Council must condemn the attacks perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups on 7 October 2023. France will continue its work to impose sanctions against Hamas at a European level, he added, also expressing support for the two-State solution, with both States having Jerusalem as their capital. “We must work to build a State for the Palestinian people”, he said, highlighting the pivotal role of the Palestinian Authority in that process. Condemning Israel’s settlement policy, he said it is crucial to put an end to settler violence in the West Bank. “France staunchly condemns the Houthi attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea”, he said, adding that “these undermine navigational rights and freedoms”.
RIYAD MANSOUR, Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, thanked South Africa for its moral leadership with the case it presented before the International Court of Justice against Israel for genocide. The world is watching a Nakba unfold, he said, adding that 70 per cent of Palestinians in Gaza are already refugees who were denied their right of return for decades now. Many of the people in Gaza have had their homes destroyed in previous assaults. Palestinians in Gaza today mourn their loved ones, and mourn their homes, that they built and rebuilt for themselves and their families. “In 100 days, virtually every Palestinian in Gaza has been displaced multiple times, from a home to a UN shelter to a tent — searching for safety everywhere, finding safety nowhere; searching for life anywhere, met by death everywhere,” he said, stating: Israel “killed and maimed our children, our doctors, our journalists, our engineers, our poets, our academics”.
While Israel was hoping Palestinians would leave under the pressure of its bombardments, they have not; now it is hoping they will leave because of the destruction the bombs have left behind, he continued. “Our people have a simple dream, to live in freedom and dignity on their land,” he said, stressing that they have been stripped of their right for decades. With mass killings of Palestinians by Israel continuing, death is everywhere and “starvation, dehydration, disease are spreading like wildfire”. Israel wants the Palestinian people to choose between destruction and displacement, between genocide and ethnic cleansing, he asserted, opposing the supremacist, racist and criminal vision that this conflict could end by Palestinians accepting that they have only three options: death, exodus or subjugation. “All those who want to see shared peace and security should not spread fire. They must support an immediate ceasefire” he declared.
GILAD MENASHE ERDAN (Israel) said that none of the resolutions adopted by the Council and the General Assembly condemned Hamas for their massacre of 1,300 Israelis. Not a single discussion has been dedicated to advance the release of hostages. During these 100 days, not once did the Council convene to focus on a baby held hostage. The United Nations has lost all moral credibility. He recalled that 76 years ago, the Organization represented a moment of justice and morality when the General Assembly decided to establish a Jewish State and an Arab State. Israel accepted the decision, while the Palestinians rejected it and have used every means to annihilate Jews, including by using the United Nations as a weapon. “Every UN body is weaponized against Israel by the Palestinians,” he said.
He said that the Arab League representative on the Council found it crucial to discuss the force displacement of Gazans in the same week that Gaza was already discussed. “There is no forced displacement,” he said, citing his Prime Minister’s statement that Israel has no intention of displacing the population. Israel is solely fighting Hamas terrorists, who use Gazans as human shields. To mitigate civilian casualties, Israel requested the temporary evacuation of civilians. Over 1 million Afghan-Muslims are being forcibly removed from their homes in Pakistan, but the Council has not convened even once to focus solely on defending their rights. Why? Because “no Jews, no news”.
In 2023, the Assembly passed more resolutions against Israel than against Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria combined. The Emergency Relief Coordinator said that Gaza’s humanitarian situation is the worst he has ever seen. But didn’t he see the killings by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and 400,000 Yemenis murdered? The list of different UN bodies that have been weaponized against Israel is endless. But of all, there is one that puts all others to shame — the Human Rights Council. Of its 47 members, only 17 actually uphold human rights. South Africa’s libelous case at the International Court of Justice is the epitome of the UN’s dystopian reality. The Convention on the Prevention of Genocide adopted following the genocide of the Jewish people is now being weaponized against the State while serving Hamas perpetrators.
Mr. BENDJAMA (Algeria), taking the floor a second time, thanked his colleagues for their substantive contributions regarding the forced displacement of the Palestinian population. There is consensus within the Council on the need to categorically reject any project aiming to directly or indirectly bring about such displacement — a rare and invaluable consensus that will reverberate around the world. He stressed that, in his region, the United Nations and the Council must restore their credibility and rebuild trust.