Thank you, Mr President,
As early as 7 October, Switzerland strongly condemned the acts of terror, indiscriminate attacks and hostage-taking perpetrated by Hamas against the Israeli population.
We deplore the deaths of thousands of civilians, including hundreds of children, in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in Gaza. Switzerland joins the Secretary-General in unequivocally condemning the strikes, in particular the one which - according to the United Nations' assessment - left hundreds dead and dozens injured yesterday at the Al Ahli Anglican Episcopal Hospital, and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the injured.
We are concerned about the large-scale humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the dramatic situation of the civilian population. Nearly a million people are displaced, and there is an urgent need for humanitarian aid to be allowed in, while water, electricity and medical supplies are running out.
We all said it around this table yesterday: the situation in the Middle East requires united and urgent action by the Council. De-escalation, the protection of civilians, the humane treatment of all hostages – whose immediate release Switzerland calls for – and rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access are priorities. The draft resolution presented by Brazil responded to these priorities, aiming for a common understanding by this Council.
This is why Switzerland voted in favour of the resolution, and we deeply regret that the resolution put to the vote today was not adopted. I would like to thank your delegation once again, Mr President, for your sustained commitment. It is regrettable that we were unable to reach a consensus on a product that would demonstrate our unity in the face of this situation. Regardless of the adoption of a resolution, all parties must respect international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, as well as human rights. International humanitarian law takes account of legitimate security and military necessity. Consequently, all its rules must be respected without exception.
Switzerland has made every effort to contribute to the search for a consensus on a Council product in this urgent situation. In the same spirit, we remain available to support any new initiative that could lead to action by this Council.