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Speech

The Government of Jamaica is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip. We recognise Israel’s right to protect its citizens. We are, however, alarmed at the disproportionate and excessive use of force displayed by the Israeli government, which has resulted in numerous casualties, including the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, as well as the destruction of infrastructure. The Israeli military action has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip resulting from the blockade by the Israeli government.
We are no less concerned about the indiscriminate firing of rockets over many weeks into Israeli territory by Palestinian militants. This cycle of violence and retaliation impedes efforts to broker lasting peace in the region.
We note the decision taken by Israel to temporarily cease hostilities for three hours, to create humanitarian corridors for the provision of fuel and supplies. While we welcome this development, such a temporary measure falls short of what is really required to bring tangible results on the ground. Consequently, Jamaica joins others in calling for a ceasefire and urges both parties to refrain from further action that could result in an escalation of the conflict. We also call for the immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and for the sustained opening of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings with Israel.
Jamaica further urges all parties to pursue diplomatic efforts in order to ensure the peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In this regard, we call for the resumption of negotiations aimed at arriving at a permanent solution that would guarantee the security of Israel and the right of Palestinians to Statehood, in keeping with pertinent Security Council resolutions, in particular 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), that call on Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.