H.E. RAYMOND O. WOLFE
AMBASSADOR/ PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA
AT THE RESUMED TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE
16TH JANUARY 2009
The situation that has caused us to assemble here today in this tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly is indeed beyond doubt, regrettable. It has been exactly one week since the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1860 which called for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire. To date, what we have seen is an escalation in violence and the continued reckless killing of Palestinian civilians, the maiming of others including defenseless women and children, and the destruction of property and infrastructure.
The Government of Jamaica is extremely concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Gaza. We recognize Israelís right to protect its citizens. We are however, horrified at the disproportionate and excessive use of force and the blatant disregard for the safety of innocent civilians, by the Israeli Government.
We are no less concerned about the indiscriminate firing of rockets over many weeks into Israeli territory by Palestinian militants. This cycle of violence and retaliation impedes efforts and thwarts initiatives aimed at brokering lasting peace in the region.
Jamaica is appalled at the horrific tragedy unfolding on the ground which according to the chief of emergency medical services in Gaza, has now killed over one thousand Palestinians more than half of them civilians and 4,500 wounded, many of whom are women and children.
We reiterate our support for Security Council resolution 1860 and urge both sides to fully and expeditiously implement the ceasefire; a ceasefire that is durable and fully respected and which will facilitate the unimpeded provision and distribution of aid to alleviate the suffering and worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Jamaica welcomes the on-going Egyptian efforts aimed at achieving a ceasefire and the mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States, to realize intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
History has demonstrated that there can be no military solution to this conflict. A peopleís rights and legitimate aspirations cannot be suppressed indefinitely.
Jamaica continues its call for all parties to pursue diplomatic efforts in order to ensure the peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In this regard we call for the resumption of negotiations aimed at arriving at a permanent solution that would guarantee Israelís security and the right of Palestinians to statehood, in keeping with Security Council resolutions, in particular, 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), that call on Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.
I thank you Mr. President.