Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 22, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you also, Special Coordinator Wennesland, for your briefing.

The United States remains deeply concerned by the sustained violence in Israel and the West Bank. Twenty twenty-two was the deadliest year since the Second Intifada. And 2023 is on track to surpass this staggering level of violence.

The United States is troubled by the escalation of violent attacks by Palestinians against Israelis and by violent attacks against Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. We reject all such acts of violence, as well as incitement to violence.

And let me also underscore that accountability and justice should be pursued with equal rigor – and resources – in all cases of extremist violence.

We continue to urge the parties to de-escalate, and to refrain from unilateral actions and unhelpful rhetoric that only serve to inflame tensions, especially as we approach the confluence of religious holidays in April.

That’s why the United States joined the meeting in Aqaba on February 26, and the follow-on meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh on March 19th, with Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan, and Egypt. We applaud the commitments of the parties and the steps taken to restore calm. These meetings are an affirmation that both sides can seek calm and find a way forward.

The United States will continue supporting these efforts – and all efforts – to restore calm and promote peace. We call on the members of this Council, and regional partners, to join us. And as the holy month of Ramadan and the Passover and Easter holidays approach, a time of heightened religious sensitivity, we urge all parties to maintain peace. This should be a time of fellowship and observance of faith, not a moment to fuel conflict.

Colleagues, the United States continues to believe that a two-state solution remains the best way to ensure Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security. And even though prospects for a two-state solution feel remote at the moment, we must preserve a horizon of hope.

The road ahead will not be easy. But if the parties commit to peace and dialogue, a brighter future is possible – one of equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity for all.

Thank you, Mr. President.