Jerusalem, 29 May 2018
“I am deeply concerned by the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants from Gaza towards communities in Southern Israel. At least one of which hit in the immediate vicinity of a kindergarten and could have killed or injured children.
Such attacks are unacceptable and undermine the serious efforts by the international community to improve the situation in Gaza.
All parties must exercise restraint, avoid escalation and prevent incidents that jeopardize the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 15 May, I briefed this Council on the deadly protests that took place in Gaza the day before. At least 60 people were killed and the number continues to climb. It was a tragic day in the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, another reminder of the need to bring peace to this troubled land.
“I commend Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s decision to maintain the opening of Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt, in both directions, throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
This is an important and encouraging step by Egypt and I hope that the security situation will allow for a more regular movement. Not only will Rafah’s extended opening contribute to de-escalating the explosive atmosphere in the Strip, it will also help ease the humanitarian burden on Palestinians in Gaza.”
Members of the Security Council,
For the people of Gaza yesterday was a day of tragedy. There are no other words with which to describe what actually happened. There is no justification for the killing. There is no excuse.
It serves no one. It certainly does not serve the cause of peace.
My heart weighs heavy today as I begin by expressing my condolences to the families of those killed yesterday and the last six weeks of demonstrations in Gaza.
Thank you very much for your opening words,
We are very concerned that there is a conflagration of conflicts currently in the Middle East that are raising tensions on all levels, including the situation in Syria, the situation in Yemen, and most certainly on the Palestinian track.
On the Palestinian track, we feel that there [is a] combination of three very important factors coming together now.