Sunday, July 6

Norway's Foreign Minister warns (largely Israel) against further escalation of violence in the Middle East

Foreign Minister warns against further escalation of violence in the Middle East

‘The events of the last few days clearly 
show how quickly the current tense 
situation could spiral out of control. I 
urge both the Israelis and the 
Palestinians to exercise restraint. It is 
important to seize upon the initiative for a 
ceasefire, which now appears to be 
coming from the Palestinians. Israel, as 
the strongest party, has a particular 
responsibility to show restraint and to 
ensure that no more lives are lost,’ said 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. 
There has been a dramatic escalation of the 
conflict between the Israelis and the 
Palestinians following the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. Israeli security forces have carried out extensive military actions in the West Bank. Some 10 Palestinians have been killed, several hundred Palestinians have been arrested and buildings have been blown up. The kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager has heightened tensions further. Palestinian groups in Gaza have fired rockets at southern parts of Israel, and Israeli security forces have carried out multiple air strikes on targets in Gaza. 
‘I condemn the acts of violence against civilians 
in the strongest terms. The rockets from Gaza 
and the Israeli air strikes must stop 
immediately. It is also vital that those 
responsible for the murders of one Palestinian 
teenager and three Israeli teenagers are 
arrested and brought to justice in a manner 
worthy of a state governed by the rule of law,’ 
Mr Brende said.  
‘As the occupying power in the West Bank, 
Israel has a special responsibility under 
international law. Neither statements of its 
intent to step up its settlement policy in the 
West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is in 
violation of international law, nor major 
offensives against Gaza are the way forward,’ 
Mr Brende said.

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