During an open session of the UN Security Council in New York on the political situation in the Middle East, Iceland condemned both the Israeli Defence Force and Hamas and other militant organisations in Gaza for violating international humanitarian law. In her statement to the Security Council, Gréta Gunnarsdóttir Iceland's Permanent Representative to the UN, said that IDF's air and ground assault raised serious concerns about respect for the principle of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attacks under international humanitarian law.
In Ms Gunnarsdóttir's statement she reiterated Iceland's position in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and regretted the loss of lives among the civilian population during the ongoing conflict. She said that the situation in Gaza required the urgent attention by the Security Council and that a ceasefire must be brokered which would not only provide for laying down arms but also lay the ground for achieving something more durable. She also commended the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his personal engagement in solving the current crisis.
“It is the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, that affects all aspects of the daily life of Palestinians, that violates their human rights, including their freedom of movement and property rights, right to assembly and freedom of expression, the right to education, right to health, equal access to justice and due process, “ Ambassador Grétarsdóttir said in her statement. She recalled that there are now 10 years since the International Court of Justice clearly stated that the wall, where built on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, is illegal according to international law. Moreover, Ambassador Grétarsdóttir reminded the Security Council of that this summer the blockade on Gaza had been in place for 8 years with dire consequences for the civilian population.