Human Rights Council Special Session UK statement on deteriorating human rights situation

The United Kingdom strongly welcomes the ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab travelled to the region this week to support efforts to ensure the ceasefire is permanent, which is a necessary step to ending the cycle of violence.

I offer Boris Johnson’s deepest condolences to the families of those civilians killed. Each one of those deaths was and is a tragedy.

The recent conflict demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards a more positive future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

During the recent escalation in violence, the UK has unequivocally condemned indiscriminate attacks by Hamas and other militant groups on Israel.

We are clear that Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence. All actions taken when exercising that right must be consistent with the principles of distinction, proportionality, humanity and necessity, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and avoid civilian casualties.

We are gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. That is why the UK has provided an initial £3.2 million of aid to UNRWA’s emergency flash appeal to help address the immediate humanitarian needs. We continue to push for unhindered humanitarian access into Gaza.

As we work to rebuild calm, the UK will continue to call on all actors to adhere to International Humanitarian Law.

We consistently oppose settlements, demolitions and evictions across the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. Settlements are illegal under international law and damage the prospects for peace.

We applaud the efforts of all who have engaged with the parties in recent days to ensure that the ceasefire is durable and to find a way to improve the lives of Palestinians.

As Dominic Raab has made clear in his meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, the UK will continue to work to find a durable resolution to the conflict. We continue to believe that the only sustainable solution is a two state solution, leading to a safe and secure Israel, living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states.

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