The Government of Jamaica is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of the conflict in Gaza. We recognise Israel’s right to protect its citizens. We are, however, alarmed at the disproportionate and excessive use of force 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 Gaza 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 therefore welcome the resolution, adopted last night by the Security Council, calling for “an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire”, and “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance”.
We urge both sides to immediately implement this ceasefire, which will facilitate international efforts to alleviate the grave and deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
We also call for the immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza and for the sustained opening of Gaza’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.