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Assemblea Generale – Riunione Plenaria su “The situation in the Middle East”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente e Charge’ d’Affaires a.i. dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla Riunione Plenaria dell’Assemblea Generale su “The situation in the Middle East”.


Mr. Vice President, Madame Deputy Secretary General,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the EU and would like to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

We remain extremely concerned by the escalation in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including in and around Gaza. We are dismayed at the large number of civilian casualties, including children, and express our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families.

The priority now is to stop the violence and immediately adopt de-escalation measures. We call on the parties to engage constructively with ongoing mediation efforts, especially by the Middle East Quartet and its members, including the EU.

Mr. Vice President,

Italy firmly condemns the indiscriminate launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel by Hamas and militant groups: these actions are unacceptable and must cease immediately. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to protect its population, we emphasize that Israel’s military response must be proportionate and respectful of the international humanitarian law. Preventing the loss of civilian lives is the priority.

Any act of violence, provocation and incitement to hatred must end. All parties should show responsibility and contain extremists. The status quo of the Holy Sites must be strictly respected.

Hostilities have shown once again that the humanitarian and socioeconomic situation in Gaza is unsustainable and must be addressed, in line with relevant Security Council’s resolutions.

The possible evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and other areas in East Jerusalem remain an issue of serious concern. We recall that settlement activities, demolitions, confiscations and evictions are illegal under international law and jeopardize the realization of a two-State solution.

Mr. Vice President,

Once the guns are silenced, and in this respect we register the encouraging news of these last hours, it is of paramount importance to relaunch a political track: by identifying a path aimed at restoring mutual trust and at creating an environment conducive to the restart of meaningful negotiations. We urge both parties to show their commitment and embark on such path. Only by addressing the root causes of conflict, will the vicious cycle of violence be finally broken.

In this regard, Italy remains strongly committed to a just, viable and directly negotiated two-State solution, in line with international law and Security Council resolutions, and rejects all actions that could undermine this prospect. We underscore the central role of the Middle East Quartet as the only internationally recognized format for mediating the Peace Process.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace and security, side by side, with Jerusalem as the capital of both. Italy will continue to work relentlessly, with the EU and all international partners, to achieve the goal of a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East.

Thank you.