Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : We continue to work intensively with the UN and partners to get more aid into Gaza – UK statement at the UN Security Council [January 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 31 January 2024.

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

Thank you President and I join others in thanking Under-Secretary Griffiths for his powerful briefing.

On the 7th of October, Israel suffered the worst terror attack in its history at the hands of Hamas. The UK wants to see the hostages taken on that day released as soon as possible.  And an end to the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible. The humanitarian situation is desperate. We are calling for an immediate suspension of fighting in order to get vital aid in and hostages out, that progresses towards a permanent, sustainable ceasefire, without a return to destruction, fighting, and loss of life.

We continue to work intensively with the UN and all partners on practical solutions to get more aid into Gaza. During his visit to the region last week, my Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, again pressed Israel to allow unhindered humanitarian access. We are supporting the World Food Programme to deliver a humanitarian land corridor from Jordan into Gaza. And the UK has trebled our humanitarian aid commitment to the Occupied Palestinian Territories this year.

The UK continues to engage closely with Israel on the conduct of their military campaign, including on IHL, and to call for Israel to take greater care to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The UK respects the role and independence of the ICJ. We welcome the ICJ’s call for the immediate release of hostages and the need to get more aid into Gaza, as well as the Court’s reminder that all parties to the conflict are bound by international humanitarian law. It is for the Court, not countries, to determine genocide.

Nevertheless, we were troubled by the way in which this action was taken, and we’ve made our views about this very clear. As Lord Cameron said in the Middle East last week, echoed in the Minister of State Lord Ahmad’s intervention at the Security Council also last week, we believe the five following steps are vital.

First,  a political horizon which provides a credible and irreversible pathway towards a two-state solution. Second, the formation of a new Palestinian Government for the West Bank and Gaza, accompanied by an international support package. Third, removing Hamas’ capacity to launch attacks against Israel. Fourth, the release of all Israeli hostages, and finally, Hamas no longer in charge of Gaza.

As my Foreign Secretary has said, it is only when the prize of peace is more attractive than the potential benefit of continued conflict that we will have the chance of a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.