News story | Date: 16/05/2021
‘The conflict in and around Gaza is intensifying and the suffering inflicted on civilian populations on both sides is unacceptable,’ said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
‘The recent attacks by Israel against targets in Gaza have been especially intense. A large number of civilians have been killed and many injured, including many children. More than 2 000 rockets have been fired from Gaza at the civilian population in large parts of Israel. These rockets have killed and wounded civilians.’
‘I am pleased an agreement was reached for the UN Security Council to meet today to discuss the grave situation. This is the third meeting of the Security Council in a week, and Norway has been involved in initiating all three meetings. A clear message is needed from the Security Council to exert pressure on all parties to stop the violence immediately. We will continue to work with all Council members to facilitate an agreement. All members recognise that de-escalation and an immediate ceasefire are now necessary,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
‘I have been clear in condemning all attacks on civilians. Yesterday’s attack striking the offices of a number of media companies in Gaza is also highly disturbing. A free and independent press plays a crucial role in ensuring fact-based reporting from conflict areas and is entitled to protection during conflict,’ said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
‘The destruction has been massive in Gaza, where infrastructure was already weak and the population deeply affected by earlier wars and crises. The last thing the civilian population in Gaza needs is to have its livelihood further ruined.’
‘I worry that extremist forces on both sides have had too free a hand over time. I reiterate my call on all political, religious and community leaders to immediately cease all acts of violence, restore security for all inhabitants and ensure respect for one another’s rights,’ the Foreign Minister said.