Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : There is a devastating and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza – Gazans need more aid, and they need it now: UK statement at the UN Security Council [April 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 18 April 2024.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

Let me start by reiterating that the UK condemns in the strongest terms Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel, as well as its violation of Jordan and Iraq’s airspace.

The UK continues to call for de-escalation and remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting and upholding stability in the region.

Iran’s actions do nothing to advance the prospects for peace in Israel and Gaza.

President, the UK condemns the October 7th attacks unequivocally and calls for the unconditional and immediate release of all the hostages.

The United Kingdom remains resolved to work with international partners to urgently secure an immediate pause to get aid in and hostages out, and then progress towards a permanent, sustainable ceasefire without a return to fighting and loss of life.

We also urgently call for the full implementation of resolution 2720, to protect civilians and enable humanitarian assistance.

There is a devastating and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Gazans need more aid, and they need it now.

We welcome Israel’s commitments to fully open Ashdod port and the Erez checkpoint – and to increase capacity through the Jordan land corridor. We are resolved that the international community will work with Israel to see these vital changes fully implemented.

As my Foreign Secretary made clear during his visit to the region yesterday, we must maintain our focus on getting more aid into Gaza and getting hostages out.

For our part, the UK has trebled our aid commitment this financial year. We will keep doing everything we can to get more aid in by land, sea, and air to reach people in desperate need in Gaza.

President, we support a two-state solution that guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

We must give the people of the West Bank and Gaza the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future. And it needs to be irreversible.

This is not entirely in our gift. However, Britain and our partners can help by confirming our commitment to a sovereign, viable Palestinian state.

On recognition, this cannot come at the start of the process, but it does not have to be the very end of the process.

Our long-standing position has been that we will recognise a Palestinian State at a time that is most conducive to the peace process. That pathway must start with fixing the immediate crisis in Gaza.

President, we must focus collectively on the vital elements for a lasting peace. These include:

  • the release of all hostages;
  • the formation of a new Palestinian Government for the West Bank and Gaza, accompanied by an international support package;
  • removing Hamas’s capacity to launch attacks against Israel;
  • Hamas no longer being in charge of Gaza;
  • and as I have mentioned, a political horizon which provides a credible and irreversible pathway towards a two-state solution.

Finally, President, I would like to address the ongoing settlement expansion and demolition of Palestinian properties in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are clear that settlements are illegal under international law, and once again urge Israel to halt settlement expansion immediately. The UK remains committed to acting robustly in support of peace and stability in the region.

President, let me end by reiterating the UK’s commitment to a two-state solution and turning this Council’s words into actions. We must work together to make this vision for peace a reality.