Statement by Ambassador Gerardo Peñalver Portal, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

New York, 27th July 2023.

Mr. President:

We associate ourselves with the statements made by Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and Senegal, in its capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

In the last quarter, we have seen an escalation of aggression against the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer from Israeli apartheid practices in their own territory.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms Israel's military operation in the Jenin Refugee Camp, which has resulted in numerous deaths and more than fifty civilians wounded, a fact that constitutes a serious threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.

We reject Israel's decision to accelerate the advancement of its plans to build settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the destruction of homes and properties by Israel and the forced displacement of Palestinian families in these territories continue.

At the same time, the destruction of homes and properties by Israel and the forced displacement of Palestinian families in these territories continue.

We reiterate our strong rejection of the Israeli military aggression and occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, along with Israel's illegal annexation policy and all its colonizing practices.

We condemn the persistent blockade on the Gaza Strip and the latent plans for annexation of the Palestinian territories of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

It is time for an end to Israel's impunity, in which the United States has historically been complicit by repeatedly obstructing Security Council action and maintaining unilateral decisions in violation of the UN Charter, the international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions, thus undermining peace, security and stability in the Middle East.

The Security Council must fulfill its mandate to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leading to the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and where the right of refugees to return is also guaranteed.

We will continue to strongly support the accession of the State of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations. We support your President's call for an international peace conference.

Mr. President:

We reiterate our demand for Israel's full and unconditional withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and all occupied Arab territories.

We demand the cessation of external interference in Syria and full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity, while supporting the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on that sister Arab nation.

We welcome the decision of the League of Arab States to readmit Syria to the Organization, a significant step towards Syria's full regional reintegration, in addition to other important developments that favor rapprochement among the countries of the Middle East and should contribute to regional stability.

We reaffirm our support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and our support for the inalienable right of States to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We reiterate our rejection of the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from that Agreement.

We demand an immediate and unconditional end to the arbitrary and illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States against sovereign nations in the Middle East.

Double standards, selectivity and political manipulation, which undermine the cause of international peace and security to the detriment of the Security Council's mandate, must cease.

Thank you