UN Security Council calls for de-escalation of Israeli-Palestinian tensions

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland (L, on the screen) speaks via a video link at a Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, on Feb. 20, 2023. (Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

The Security Council on Monday adopted a presidential statement, calling for the de-escalation of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

"The Security Council calls on all parties to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-state solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace," said the presidential statement.

The Security Council condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terrorism, and calls for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to counter terrorism in a manner consistent with international law, and for all parties to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism and refrain from incitement to violence, it said.

The Security Council reiterates the obligation of all parties regarding the pursuit of accountability for all acts of violence targeting civilians, and recalls the obligation of the Palestinian Authority to renounce and confront terror, it said.

The Security Council expresses deep concern and dismay with Israel's announcement on Feb. 12 for further construction and expansion of settlements and the "legalization" of settlement outposts. The council reiterates that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution, said the statement.

The council strongly underscores the need for all parties to meet their international obligations and commitments; strongly opposes all unilateral measures that impede peace, including Israeli construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of Palestinians' land, and the "legalization" of settlement outposts, demolition of Palestinians' homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, it said.

The Security Council notes with deep concern instances of discrimination, intolerance and hate speech motivated by racism or directed against persons belonging to religious communities, in particular, cases motivated by Islamophobia, antisemitism or Christianophobia, it said.

The Security Council calls for upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in word and in practice, and emphasizes in this regard the special role of Jordan, said the statement.