Germany welcomes that on 22 December 2023 the Security Council was able to adopt Resolution 2720 on aid-scale up and monitoring in Gaza.
We thank all those Members of the Security Council that have contributed to reaching an agreement on this resolution by bridging differences within the Council.
The resolution now needs to be implemented by all parties.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms Hamas’ brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks against Israel on 7 October 2023, including horrendous acts of sexual and gender based violence.
We reiterate our conviction that Israel’s has the right to defend itself in line with international law including international humanitarian and human rights law. Military operations must be proportionate and in line with humanitarian law.
The use of civilians as human shields by Hamas is particularly deplorable.
We call on Hamas to immediately cease the continued missile attacks on Israel and to release all hostages without any precondition. Human suffering cannot be a bargaining chip. The ICRC must be granted access to the hostages.
After three months of conflict, we are gravely concerned about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as reflected by latest reports by UN agencies. Protection of all civilians and unhindered humanitarian access must be ensured by the parties, throughout the Gaza strip. Far too many people have died, including UN staff and humanitarian aid workers.
We welcome Israel’s decision to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing point, which is a good first step.
Germany is fully committed to alleviating human suffering by providing humanitarian aid to those in need in Gaza, through our national contributions as well as through the European Union.
However, more needs to be done to provide humanitarian assistance to all those in need in Gaza.
We therefore welcome the appointment of Ms Sigrid Kaag as the Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza and we stand ready to support her work.
We must do our utmost to prevent both regional escalation and a deterioration of the situation in the West Bank. Germany remains committed to a lasting and sustainable peace, based on the implementation of the two-state solution and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. To this end, the Middle East Peace Process needs to be reinvigorated. Let us focus on ways to achieve this, so that both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, side by side.
I thank you.