News story | Date: 21/05/2021
‘I welcome the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. It was essential to bring an end to the violence. I commend Egypt, Qatar, the UN, the US and others for their efforts. The suffering inflicted on civilians during the eleven days of hostilities has been unacceptable,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Over the past few weeks, Norway has been working in the UN Security Council to promote a ceasefire. It is now vital that the ceasefire holds, and that the parties ensure rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to allow emergency aid to be delivered to the civilian population in Gaza. Norway announced an increase of NOK 30 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people yesterday. This funding will be used to provide emergency medical care, food, shelter and protection. Norway will monitor humanitarian needs in the time ahead.
‘Now the difficult work of following up the ceasefire begins, to ensure that it lasts and to facilitate a resumption of political negotiations. The parties must return to the negotiating table both to address the factors that triggered this acute crisis and to negotiate a solution to all the outstanding final status issues. Fundamental rights must be respected. In the long term, only a negotiated two-state solution can bring about lasting peace,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.