Middle East: Security Council calls for ceasefire and Israeli troop pull-out

Middle East: Security Council calls for ceasefire and Israeli troop pull-out

Council President Amb. Sergey Lavrov
Responding to the continued violence in the Middle East, members of the Security Council have repeated their call for a ceasefire and the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian cities.

“The members of the Security Council are seriously concerned at the further deterioration of the situation and violation of international humanitarian law on the Palestinian Territories, including many victims among the civilian population and a threat of destruction of the Palestinian Authority,” said Council President Sergey Lavrov in a statement to the press issued on Sunday following a closed-door meeting.

The President said that the session, convened at the request of the Arab Group, marked the determination of Council members “to ensure the implementation of resolutions 1397, 1402 and 1403” – the security body’s most recent texts on the situation in the Middle East. He emphasized that the members were “deeply disturbed by the failure to implement” those resolutions, adding, “The continuation of violence by the power in control of events on the ground is unacceptable.”

Insisting that the parties fully implement those texts, the statement stressed in particular that “there must be a ceasefire and Israel must withdraw its forces from Palestinian cities without delay.”

The parties were also called on to cooperate in good faith with the Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and the Russian Federation – “and with the Secretary-General, especially in the context of the forthcoming visit of the US Secretary of State to the region,” the President said.

Asking the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed on the ongoing efforts to ensure the implementation of its resolutions, the statement said the members “will closely follow the developments as they consider further steps to contribute to the efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.”

With regard to the situation along the withdrawal line between Israel and Lebanon, Council members “expressed concern at the violation of the Blue Line and reiterated their call on the parties to implement resolutions 425 and 426.”