General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing on Middle East (Palestine)

27 May 2021




Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Thank you, Mr. President.


I thank Special Coordinator Tor Wenessland, Commissioner General of UN Relief and Works agency for Palestine refugees in near east (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini and Professor Rashid Khalidi for their briefings.


2. The situation in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories has been the focus of the Security Council in the last two weeks. During these Council meetings, India expressed her deep concern over violence in the old city of Jerusalem, especially at Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan, and over the possible evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, an area which is part of an arrangement facilitated by the United Nations. We also underlined the need to respect the historic status-quo in Jerusalem.


3. We welcome the announcement of ceasefire and recognise the important role of the international community, members of the Middle East Quartet, and regional countries, in facilitating the ceasefire and their continued efforts towards peace-building. The ceasefire has arrested the sharp deterioration of the security situation and restored relative calm. However, the situation continues to be fragile. We reiterate our call for all parties to observe maximum restraint and avoid acts of violence, provocation, incitement and destruction.


4. The latest cycle of violence has resulted in loss of precious human lives, including that of an Indian national.  We extend our deep condolences to all the affected families. The immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza, and ensuring the smooth flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza through verified channels is a matter of importance.


5. On our part, India continues to provide developmental and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority both bilaterally and through contributions to UN led mechanisms. India has always supported UNRWA’s strong role in human development and humanitarian services.


6. Rehabilitation and reconstruction will now form an important aspect of international community’s efforts in Gaza and these must be prioritized.  The Palestinian Authority should continue to be the fulcrum for such assistance to ensure the well-being and interests of all Palestinians.


7. Even as we focus on the immediate, we must underline the need for resuming dialogue between Israel and Palestine for a two-State solution. The absence of direct and meaningful negotiations between the two parties has only widened the trust deficit, which, in turn, increases the chances for similar escalations in the future.  As the rehabilitation efforts continue, it is important for the international community and the Middle East Quartet in particular, to exert all efforts to resume these direct negotiations.


8. We firmly believe that only a two-State solution, achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between both sides on final status issues, will deliver an enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve.


I thank you Mr. President.