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Statement by Italy’s Permanent Representative Maurizio Massari at General Assembly – 49th plenary meeting, Tenth emergency special session

GA

Mr. President,

Italy is a firm supporter of the principle “two people, two states” and shares the goal of a comprehensive lasting peace that could only, and I stress only, be achieved on the basis of a two-State solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within agreed recognized borders.

We believe such a goal must be achieved through direct negotiations between the Parties. We have doubts that today’s approval of the resolution will contribute to the objective of reaching a lasting solution to the conflict. This is why we decided to abstain.

With the brutal attacks perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th and the ensuing conflict in the Gaza Strip, reaching the objective of the two States solution has become more urgent than ever. That is the only way to avoid the eternal cycles of action and reaction that have poisoned generations of Israeli and Palestinians alike. There will be no security for Israel without the existence of a sovereign, viable Palestinian State. A Palestinian State whose territory should cover both the West Bank and Gaza and that should be effectively governed by a revamped Palestinian Authority.

The importance of restoring a political horizon in order to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people should guide our action in the medium term.

In the short term, priority should be given to resolve the catastrophic, tragic humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Within this context, we urge Israel to halt its plans, already under way, to start a ground operation in Rafah. As also mentioned by the President of the Italian Republic in front of this very Assembly three days ago, Italy supports the Secretary-General’s call for military operations at Rafah to be avoided, given the painfully tragic consequences they could have on Palestinian civilians.

At the same time, we also urge Hamas to release all the hostages unconditionally.

Italy is doing its part to alleviate the immense suffering of the Palestinian population on the brink of famine. Recently, our Foreign Minister launched the initiative “Food for Gaza”, in collaboration with FAO, WFP and IFRC, aimed at better meeting the urgent demand for food security and primary health of the civilian population. We are also ready to resume our funding to UNRWA, earmarked to specific projects and geographies. We believe that the agency continues to play a pivotal role in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, playing a stabilizing role in the wider region.

Once the emergency phase is over, Italy stands ready to do its part together with all its partners to contribute to relaunch a political horizon.

Thank you.