Munich Group expresses deep alarm over deteriorating situation in occupied territories

The Munch Group today expressed deep alarm over the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. During a meeting in Berlin within the Munich Group mechanism, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Egypt, Germany and Jordan voiced their deep alarm ‘by this new round of violence and the deteriorating security situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, and on-going developments in Gaza, which has claimed unacceptable civilian casualties including women and children.’ The Foreign Ministers ‘consulted on measures needed to achieve a just and lasting peace’ as they emphasized that ‘international humanitarian law must be respected,’ according to the statement concurrently issued by French Foreign Ministry and the German Federal Foreign Office. ‘France, Germany and Jordan commended Egyptian efforts to bring about an immediate ceasefire. The saddening facts serve as a dire reminder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs immediate attention to prevent a major conflagration. A political horizon is required to give people hope, a meaningful perspective and to end the occupation,’ the statement read. ‘The Ministers emphasised that all causes of tension and triggers of violence must end including unilateral measures undermining the viability of the two state solution and prospects of a just and lasting peace,’ it added. The Foreign Ministers also ‘strongly commend]ed[ the efforts undertaken jointly by the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United States America to ease tensions and prevent further violence with the aim of creating momentum necessary for resuming a wide political process leading to a just and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution.’ Stressed the need to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, they called for ‘upholding unchanged the Status Quo of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. In this respect, we recall the importance of the Hashemite custodianship of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem.’ In reference to takeover of church property and attacks against Christians by Israeli Jewish settler-colonialist groups, the diplomats noted that they ‘are also deeply concerned by the growing pressure against Christian and Muslim communities in Jerusalem.’ ‘These latest events illustrate the need to restore a credible political process leading to a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians through a negotiated two-state solution, ensuring an independent, contiguous, viable and sovereign Palestinian State, based on June 4, 1967 lines and consistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions,’ they reiterated. They pledged that they would ‘continue to work with all parties to create realistic horizons for the resumption of a credible political process’, while stressing ‘that the attainment of a just and lasting peace is a strategic objective that is in the interest of all parties and key to security and stability in the region.’

Source: En – Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA