Statement by Mexico in the United Nations Security Council on la situación in Palestine

New York, October 24, 2023

Mr. President:

Mexico attends this meeting in the face of the critical escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and the situation that prevails in the Gaza Strip, an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory. If not ended immediately, this conflict is on track to producing a humanitarian disaster of immeasurable and unprecedented proportions.

We recognize and appreciate the humanitarian work undertaken by the UN under the leadership of the Secretary-General, and we deeply regret the death of 35 workers of the Organization.

1. Condemnation of terrorist attacks and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities

Mexico reaffirms its strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of who, where, and under what purposes it is committed. As this Council has stated, “any act of terrorism constitutes a threat to international peace and security.” 1

My country reiterates its strong condemnation of the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel by Hamas and other extremist organizations in Gaza, which have claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people. And like the Secretary General, Mexico demands the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages in Hamas’ custody, among whom are two Mexican nationals.

1 Resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001)

The Israeli response, on the other hand, has left almost five thousand people dead (now approaching 8000), more than 14,200 injured, and incalculable damage to civilian infrastructure.

Mexico recognizes Israel’s right to protect its citizens and its territory, as well as to guarantee its security, but this must be done in full compliance with international law, in observance of the principles of necessity and proportionality that govern any use of force.

We call for an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, especially indiscriminate attacks and violence against civilians by all parties to the conflict, and to lift the state of siege in which the population currently finds itself in Gaza, in accordance with resolution 1860 (2009).

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2. Humanitarian situation in Gaza

According to IHL, any indiscriminate or directed attack against the civilian population under any circumstances, as well as against medical and humanitarian personnel, or against civilian facilities and essential infrastructure, is contrary to the principle of distinction, applicable to all situations of armed conflict, at all times and places. These behaviors could constitute war crimes, as they are serious violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Any retaliation is contrary to international law.

Mexico condemns and repudiates, in the strongest terms, the events that occurred at the Al Ahli hospital, located in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as all other attacks in recent days on civilian facilities and property.

Therefore, an independent and impartial investigation of these attacks is essential, in order to clarify the facts, attribute responsibility, and guarantee accountability.

We welcome the passage of humanitarian assistance through the Rafah border crossing that connects Egypt to the Gaza Strip. However, the 34 shipments that have entered are insufficient, which is why we call for facilitating the urgent and uninterrupted entry of humanitarian supplies, including water and fuel. The passage of civilians through this corridor between Gaza and Egypt, as well as through the West Bank and East Jerusalem, must also be allowed.

Mexico also expresses great concern about the increase in intensity and frequency of incidents of violence, military checkpoints and attacks by Israeli settlers, and we are gravely concerned over a possible military incursion by Israel in northern Gaza, which would only worsen the conditions of the civil population.

3. Paralysis of the Security Council

4. The occupation under international law

Mr. President:

The responsibility to resume the peace process and de-escalate violence falls on the parties involved in the conflict. This Security Council and the international community have a collective responsibility to foster a political process aimed at promoting lasting peace. We recognize Egypt’s call for the Peace Summit last weekend, and we call on regional actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid the expansion of the conflict.

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No occupation is lawful and is always the result of the breakdown of the international order in contravention of the UN Charter. Nor does there exist the right to an indefinite occupation that has already altered, for the benefit of the Occupying Power, the demographic, economic and social realities of the occupied territory and those of its inhabitants, generating potentially irreversible changes on the ground.

Under international law, any acquisition of territory obtained by force is null and void, and the international community has the obligation to demand that the Occupying Power cease its occupation and all other acts affecting the territorial integrity of the State of Palestine, and take advantage of the relevant resolutions of this Council.

Until we address the structural causes of conflict, including oppression and recurring human rights violations, we will continue to see more cycles of violence and destruction.

Mexico favors a comprehensive and definitive political solution to the conflict, based on the premise of two States, that addresses Israel’s legitimate security concerns, and allows the consolidation of the State of Palestine, politically and economically viable, that coexists with Israel within internationally recognized secure borders in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico pointed out on September 23 in the General Assembly, we must “recognize the right of the people of Israel, but not at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Thank you.