Middle East Monitor / January 7, 2022
Norway’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), pledged to advance the UN Security Council discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a ministerial level this month, to restore its focus on this decades-long conflict, reported Wafa news agency.
Mona Juul expressed deep concern at the lack of international attention to the issues in Palestine and Israel, which has been compromised as a result of multiple other conflicts raging across the Middle East.
“The people of Israel and Palestine do not deserve that,” she said during a press conference to discuss her country’s priorities as it assumes the presidency of the Security Council for January. “Thirty years after the Madrid conference, the Israeli-Palestinian issue deserves more attention.”
“It’s critical to enhance the council’s focus and the need to find a political solution to this protracted conflict and make sure we avoid further actions that undermine the prospect of the two-state solution,” she added.
Juul reiterated her country’s opposition to any hostilities against the civilians, specifically referencing Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the Occupied Territories as an obstacle to a peaceful solution.
According to data from the Land Research Centre, Israel has demolished about 950 homes and facilities, confiscated about 24,750 dunums (6,116 acres) of land, and cut down and damaged about 17,740 trees in 2021.
Moreover, data shows that as many as 55 existing settlements were expanded, about 15 new illegal outposts were erected this year, 102 plans for settlement expansion were approved, about 25 new colonial roads were established, and factories were opened to Judaize the land.
Norway intends to arrange a so-called “mini-Oslo” forum for members of the Security Council, who will be invited to meet in Oslo, and discuss “how to do better when it comes to preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution,” said Juul.
“There are examples that show it is still possible to forge dialogue and to bring people to the table but we know it costs a lot, requires a lot of resources and, not least, it requires unity at the Security Council.”