tv U.N Security Council Meets to Discuss Middle East Tensions CSPAN July 28, 2017 1:34pm-2:29pm EDT
russia's foreign ministry wants the u.s. to remove some accidents from moscow in response to new sanctions bill passed by congress. meanwhile, the security council met on tuesday to discuss the latest in the israeli/palestinian conflict. the u.n. special coordinator spoke about how it can turn into the religious war. this discussion is about an hour. >> members of the security council, as we meet today to discuss the situation in the middle east including the palestinian question, the risks of escalation and violence in the region continue to increase. despite the emergence of the new found agreement among a number of countries of the need to stand together, united against terrorism. as the societies continue to fracture along ethnic and religious lines, recent events in jerusalem resonate across the middle east. for nearly a century despite a
myriad of peace efforts, one conflict has evaded solution. some say it is irresolvable, others challenge the basic premise of international consensus on how it can be resolved. the palestinian/israeli conflict is not only about land and peace. it is about two peoples who both have legitimate national aspirations for statehood and recognition. two nations whose histories are intertwined and whose future is forever intricately linked. and violent upheaval has engulfed the region in recent years and half a century of occupation has produced tens of thousands of casualties and left deep psychological scars on both sides. developments over the past 11 days at the holy sites at jerusalem, however, have demonstrated the grave risk of dangerous escalation that risks.
a risk of turning the israeli/palestinian conflict into a religious one and dragging both sides into the vortex of violence with the rest of the region. on july 14, two policemen were killed by three assailants. the attackers fled inside the compound before being shot by police. according to the israeli authorities, the assail yeptss had initiated the attack from within the compound. in the immediate aftermath, the palestinian president condemned the attack and the israeli president is upholding the old city of jerusalem. citing security concerns the israelis authorities closed the compounds to all include fog the first time since 1969 to muslims for friday prayers and restricted entrance in order to secure the area of the attack, search for further threats and conduct the investigation. two days later on sunday, 16th
of july, the compound was reopened. first for muslim worshipers and later for visitors placing metal detectors outside of the entrances. the islamic -- they immediately rejected the move as a change in the status quo and called on them not to enter through the metal detectors but to pray outside the entrance and in the streets of jerusalem. palestinian factions also immediately rejected these measures. hamas and islamic jihad issued a joint statement warning that this a red line that would lead to the escalation and fatah called for a day of rage. starting on 16th of july, prayers and peaceful protests were conducted at the gate, followed by clashes with israeli police. tensions rose by friday the 21st of july as all mosques were closed. israel announced a restriction of entry for all muslim men
und under 50 into the old city. and clashes with the four palestinian protesters were killed and hundreds were injured. later on friday, three israelis were killed in a brutal terror attack in the home and in the west bank settlement by 19-year-old palestinian assailant who made a clear connection between his acts and the events in east jerusalem. overall in clashes since july 14th, at least four palestinians have been killed and over 300 injured. i ask member states today to unequivocally condemn the violence of the last few days. our thoughts and prayers must go out to the victims of all and their families. on the 21st of july, president abbas announced that the palestinian authority was freezing all contact with israel including high level security coordination. let us make no mistake. that while events in jerusalem are taking place over a couple
of hundred square meters they affect hundreds around the world. therefore i welcome last night's decision by the israeli security cabinet to remove the metal detectors while ensuring the safety of the visitors to the holy site. i hope the cabinet decision will enable a return of worshipers to the holy esplanade. it is expected that president abbas will convene later on tonight to discuss the developments. mr. president, as we have seen over the past 11 days, it is vital that the status quo in jerusalem established since 1967 be preserved. i encourage israel to continue its intense contacts with jordan recognizing the historic role. all parties must refrain from provocative action and bring a conclusive end to this crisis in next few days. in these efforts constant
discussion with the islamic religious authorities in jerusalem and the palestinian leadership can greatly contribute to maintaining calm in east jerusalem and the rest of the occupied west bank. as this crisis has unfolded i want to reflect briefly on the views that we hear from residents in east jerusalem. people who have been caught in the midst of these events in the past few weeks, they often tell us that for many years they have felt that religious and the -- they have been told that their religious and ethnic identity is under threat. that their very livelihood is at risk while living under occupation. their children often live in fear of house demolitions. they want to pray in peace and live in security and freedom. many of them feel alone. they talk of the special status that the u.n. resolution 181 in 1947 had bestowed on jerusalem. yet, they see the reality around them. this is why often they come to us, the united nations,
appealing for protection. it is critical that any decision made at the highest political and religious levels today if it's to be sustainable takes into consideration the fears and hopes of people on the ground. jerusalem remains a final status issue that needs to be decided an negotiated by the two sides. as the occupying power israel has responsibility to uphold the obligations and international human rights law and humanitarian law and must show maximum restraint in order to stop the further loss of life. palestinian leaders have a responsibility to avoid provocative statements that further aggravate an already intense environment. i'm particularly concerned in this respect by statements made over the past weeks by some factions that have sought to fan the flames of violence. such provocations are dangerous and i call on all to condemn them. this has diverted us from the
real task ahead, namely how to restore a political process in order to find a solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of both israelis and palestinians. a solution that's based on u.n. resolutions and is achieved through negotiations. a solution whose ultimate goal is two states living side by side in peace and security. mr. president, unfortunately these latest incidents have taken place against the back drop of other developments in israeli/palestinian conflict. in july alone, plans were advanced for over 2,300 housing units in east jerusalem, 30% more than were advanced during all of 2016. this includes plans for some 1,600 units expanding a ring of settlements north, north of east jerusalem as well as -- which may involve the demolition of the palestinian houses. i want to emphasize that settlement activity and occupied territories really go under international law and undermines
the chances for the establishment of the viable, contiguous sovereign state. mr. president, on the more positive note, some constructive steps have been taken that are in line with the recommendations of the middle east report. on july 10th, an interim purchasing agreement was signed between the israeli and palestinians energizing the first known and operated substation in the city. this will increase the electricity supply in the northern west bank and help the palestinian authority to take control of the energy sector. both sides should now move to negotiate the comprehensive israeli palestinian purchasing agreement that would be a landmark achievement towards the energy independence of palestine. on july 13th, the united states facilitated the palestinian authority and the israeli government to reach an agreement following for an increase of what water supply for
palestinians in both west bank and gaza. under its terms the palestinian authority will purchase some 32 million cubic meters of water from israel. 22 million cubic meters for the west bank and ten for gaza. the water will come from a desalination plant to be constructed in aqaba, jordan. the implementation is instrumental in rebuilding the trust, and they are all put at ritzing of the freezing -- risk of the freezing of contacts. without resolution to the current crisis, these gains will swiftly evaporate. mr. president, i now turn to the situation in gaza with a very heavy heart. two million people there have been taken hostage in the political standoff between qatar and hamas. the humanitarian impact of the punishing measures taken against gaza is amazing. some people have experienced electricity cuts of 36 hours. no electricity means no drinking
water. hospitals are struggling to survive. and an environmental crisis is in the making. whatever the political differences between the palestinian factions, it is not the people of gaza who should be paying the price. i want to assure you, mr. president, the united nations will not give up on gaza and its people. despite the -- we'll continue our intense mediation efforts to resolve the standoff. i want to thank egypt for stepping in at the moment of need and to getting badly needed fuel to increase the electricity supply. egyptian fuel along with the nearly 900,000 liters of fuel per month, for most essential services provides a temporary life line to the residents of gaza. in this environment the continued functioning of the gaza reconstruction mechanism is more than ever critical for the people of gaza. recently to the state of qatar has signed contracts for their
recommitment to construction. today gaza and the west bank are further apart than ever. palestinian leaders must make some hard choices about the future of their people. they can work to overcome the ideological divisions or they can continue along the path that will guarantee gaza's complete chance. they can work to unite palestinians in purr suit of the goal of statehood or they can oversee the demise of the palestinian national project. they can resolve the current crisis in gaza or preside over the radicalization of a population and see it fall into the hands of extremists. i know that this is not the future that the president abbas or the majority of palestinians want for their country. i know that they want to build a state in which human rights are respected, a state that is achieved on the basis of negotiations. not violence. one that lives in peace and security with the state of israel.
for ten years however the population in gaza has lived in a state of chronic vulnerable. at one point will people say enough is enough? at what point will we see enough is enough? since violently seizing control of gaza, hamas has tightened its grip on power and suppressed dissent. the fact that no presidential or legislative elections have been held in palestine since 2006 has also created the democratic -- that undermines the legitimacy of institutions. two different legal systems have emerged and diverging laws have been enacted in gaza and the west bank. i once again call on all leaders to address the destructive consequences of this split. i encourage them to reach agreement that would allow the legitimate palestinian government to take up its responsibilities in gaza. as a step towards the formation of a unity government on the basis of the plo platform. and agreed to hold elections. meanwhile, hamas must ensure
that calm is maintained by seizing militant build-up against israel and by maintaining security at the border of egypt. at the same time, i encourage israel to step up its measures to lift the closures and facilitate development in gaza as overall calm persists in strip and this should be done in line with security council resolution 1816. i would like to refer to the briefing of special coordinator cog who briefed the council on the risks and on security council resolution 1701. i want to note the cease-fire between israel and the syrian arab republic has been maintained. although in a volatile environment. the spike of the military activities in syria which has as a resulted in -- which has resulted in spillover fires and reactions. i join the secretary-general in welcoming the announcement for
the governments of jordan, the russian federation and the united states of a de-escalation zone and arrangements to support the cease-fire and delivery of humanitarian assistance in southwest syria. mr. president, in closing, let me emphasize that the events that we have witnessed over the past weeks in jerusalem are a reminder of how easy it is to reach the precipice of a dangerous escalation in israel and the occupied palestinian territory. we're not over the crisis yet. but i hope that the steps that have been taken by israel will enable a return to relative calm as we all hope this will happen in the next couple of days. i hope that as the agreements are implemented in a positive engagement with religious authorities that takes place, we will avoid the cycle of violence that would destroy all peace efforts for the foreseeable future. we must not lose focus of the need to restore a political
perspective for people. of -- or the needs to bring palestinians and israelis back into the environment that's conducive to negotiations and avoids turning the status arran avoid turning the national israeli-palestinian conflict into a religious conflict. thank you. >> mr. president. i congratulate you and your assumption of the security council presidency this month. confident of china's skilled leadership and guidance of this council's important work. i also wish to thank the u.n. special coordinator and special representative of the secretary-general for his briefing to the council this morning. before proceeding, i also a new deep appreciation for bolivia for its wise leadership of the security council in june including its convening of the 20th june meeting of the council
and reflect on the 15th -- 50th year of israelis foreign occupation and arab lands since 1967. as reflected in the statements made by council members that day, the international consensus is firm and clear. the two state solution on the basis of the pre 1967 borders remains the central pillar of the just, comprehensive and peaceful solution based on the relevant resolutions the madrid principles and other peace initiative. also clear are the responsibilities of this council. to act to advance a solution for this conflict which continues to impact international peace and security. yet, we continue to face the tragic sequences of this
illegal occupation and the rapid deterioration on all fronts, the absence of the credible political ho riseson to end the occupation and this injustice and realize the palestinian people's rights including the nation. mr. president, we come before the council today amid escalating tensions and instability in our homeland and our and a profound sense of worry. the fragile situation in occupied east jerusalem has been enflamed yet again as israel is occupying power presses forth with its reckless and destructive agenda against our people and holy sites. especially the one which houses an absolute contempt for international law and the will of the international community. the situation we have repeatedly
warned against the stocking of a religious conflict is rapidly unfolding as israeli persists with its illegal actions including aggressive behavior and provocative violations of the historic status quo at the holy site and waiting religious sensitivities to the point of corruption. we are clearly at the tipping point. we must warn against the dangerous, the dangers of such provocations and incitement and the fueling of yet another cycle of violence which will surely have far reaching consequences in this already volatile climate. we condemn the closure of the al aqsa mosque by israel and all other related provocative and inflammatory measures and we do not accept under any
circumstances or pretexts that this holy site to be closed in the face of what worshippers. at this moment occupied east jerusalem is a city besieged from within and without by military checkpoints, occupation forces, settlements and armed and violent settlers. the palestinian people in the city face subject gags, discrimination, home demolitions and violence with the aim of forcibly transferring them out of their city. they pursue this plan and policies based on religious and national affiliation. the palestinian people are resisting the recent provocative measures including the closure of al aqsa mosque, the banning
of the friday prayers and restrictions on access to the holy sites by praying in the streets. they are expressing peacefully and i emphasize they are expressing peacefully their rejection of these illegal measures against their rights and their holy sites. yet peaceful demonstrations and steadfastness in preserving the character and identity of the city are being met with violent repression. such aggression, provocations and violations must be immediately halted in order to avert complete destabilization and collapse of the situation. we recognize efforts undertaken thus far by concerned parties in the region and across the
international community to escalate the situation in jerusalem and affirm that the palestinian leadership to cooperate with such efforts. in this context, we recognize the important role and supervision of the islamic site. the first and third holiest site in islam and record the special role of the kingdom of jordan as custodian of the muslim and christian holy sites in the city. yet, israel continues to ignore the international community. a clear unified message must be conveyed to israel to cease and reverse all such illegal actions and policies. further, explicit calls must be made for an end to israeli incitement and inflammatory rhetoric including by government officials regarding the city and the holy sites such as remarks by israeli's public security
minister who brazenly declared, and i quote, israel holds sovereignty over the mount no matter what other countries' positions are. and if we decide that a certain move has a certain advantage, then it is carried out. end of quotation. such declarations are aimed at illegally asserting israeli control over the site in the heart of occupied jerusalem. which remains an integral part of the palestinian territory occupied by israel since 1967. deescalation is urgent. we appeal for continuation of all efforts to restore the historic status quo at the mosque compound and achieve calm. this requires the lifting of all measures in violation of the historic status quo including
any hindrances or obstructions violating the access by palestinians to this holy site and their freedom of worship. we recall here the council's express statement of 17 september 2015 in which it was underscored that, and i quote, muslim worshippers at the mosque must be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocations, end of quotation. we also, of course, the numerous relevant security council resolutions on jerusalem from 1948 to 1967 to the present day. with the most recent being resolution 2334 of 2016. which explicitly undermines the
nonrecognition of any changes to the four of june, 1967 lines, including with regard to jerusalem. other land owners agreed by the parties through negotiations. we call for the full respect and implementation of all relevant security council resolutions. this council, not only has the power to enact the law, it has a duty to uphold it. its credibility and authority in this case and all cases depend on it. the question of palestine cannot remain the exception to the rule. deescalation of this situation is contingent on respect for the law including as enshrined in the relevant resolutions and this in turn is what will
preserve the sanctity of the holy sites and preserve the fleeting prospects of peace. protection of human life is equally urgent. protection of civilian palestinians in the occupied territory including in east jerusalem is very urgent and important. international humanitarian law and human rights law must be respected without exception. we deplore the killing and injury of all innocent civilians. and i repeat, we deplore the killing and injury of all innocent civilians including of course palestinian innocent civilians. israel is occupying power and must be held accountable for the violations. and negligence including with regard to the terror of its settlers against the palestinian civilians under its occupation. it cannot continue to be
absolved of its legal obligations. we mourn thus the loss of our five youth who were brutally killed last week by the occupying forces. and pray for the recovery of the more than 1,000 peaceful demonstrators who have been injured. and in this connection, we commend the european union and the secretary-general and others who have asked for investigation about such crimes. we deplore also israelis on going raids and arrests of palestinian civilians including children adding to the thousands of palestinians unlawfully imprisoned and abused by the occupation. we must remind in this chamber that the palestinian people are unarmed, defenseless people. unarmed and defenseless people.
we must also remind that israel is the occupying power. and is not the sovereign and any part of the occupied palestinian territory. and cannot be permitted in any way to act as sovereign whether in practice, policy or rhetoric. mr. president, this occupation entrenched and sustained by israelis illegal policies and practices over the decades is the context and harsh reality in which all of these disturbing developments are taking place and this is happening behind the backdrop of the council's adoption of resolution 2334 in 2016. a resolution that was unequivocal as to the occupied status of the palestinian territory including east jerusalem since 1967 and the
illegality of all measures aimed at altering the demographic character and status of that territory. resolution 2334 determined a clear path away from conflict and towards peace. we must not allow the occupying power to continue dragging us in the opposite direction. in the absence of serious steps to implement resolution 2334 and in the absence of any consequences for israelis flagrant this respect of the resolution, the occupying power has not only persisted with its violations committing thousands since the resolution's adoption but has been encouraged and embolden to accelerate the threatless colonization and annexation campaign. the occupying powers actions continue to endanger palestinian
civilian lives and destabilizing the ground with potentially dramatic consequences for palestinians for israelis and for the region and the prospects for peace and security. we must not underestimate the risks, despair, anger, and tensions throughout palestine are extremely high, especially among our youth who have known not a single day of freedom or dignity under this occupation. mr. president, an hour away from jerusalem and the rest of the occupied west bank, 2 million palestinians in the gaza strip remain under israeli's illegal blockade in an act of massive collective punishment. for a decade, an entire population has been imprisoned, denied freedom of movement,
access to livelihoods, access to basic supplies, even vital medicine, deprived of clean water and energy and forced to live in the ruins of war. as even reconstruction continues to be obstructed and at least 40,000 people remain displaced. this is the reality of their lives and this manmade catastrophe means urgent remedy. including humane and political solutions. gaza is unlivable for humans, not in a decade or in a few years or a few months. gaza is unlivable now as we speak. while palestinian unity is vital and the priority and we are working very hard to accomplish it, only the end of the israeli
blockade can bring back life to gaza. we thus again appeal for immediate action to save the palestinian civilian population there from this inhumanity and to avert another explosive crisis. mr. president, 70 years after the u.n. was first seized with the question of palestine, the denial of the palestinian people's right to self-determination still continues. how many palestinian generations will have to endure the suffering caused by the persistent disposition, exile and military colonial israeli occupation in all its m manifestation? how many more years do we have to wait? how many more decades do we have to wait? here i must state before the council if affirmation and defense of the palestinian people's right is equated with
being anti-israeli, then it means that only negotiation of palestinian rights can be considered pro-israel. that is not only offensive and unacceptable, it becomes an existential matter for the palestinian people. moreover, it applies that just peace, one that recognizes the legitimate aspirations and rights of the palestinian people is not possible and that somehow our collective pursuit forever peace is anti-israel. we reject such an equation and continue to believe that peace is possible not by negotiation of our rights but rather by ending the israeli occupation of our land, securing palestinian rights including to self-determination and freedom and ensuring a just solution for the palestine refugees in conformity with international law.
the relevant u.n. resolutions, the madrid principles and the other peace initiative. the palestinian leadership has and will continue to engage positively with every peace effort. we say this even at a time of great pain. and turmoil being endured by our people and in our land for we are fully convinced that it is the path of peace and international legitimacy that will rectify this grave injustice and ensure that the palestinian people will one day live in dignity, freedom, and sovereignty in the independent state of palestine with east jerusalem as the capital side by side with israel and all of its other neighbors in peace and security within recognized borders. we urge all of you to uphold its
charter role and responsibilities in this hour of urgency. we need you and we need you to act and i thank you very much, mr. president. >> this past friday a disgusting act of terror took place in my country. the solomon family gathered together for a traditional friday night meal. they came together to celebrate the most joyous occasion, the birth of a new grandson. it was only a matter of time that the family's festivities turned into a horrific bloodshed. a palestinian terrorist broke into their home and murdered joseph, the 70-year-old grandfather of the family, his daughter and his son. in cold blood, this terrorist took the innocence before the eyes of the children and grandchildren.
this family, including the youngest kids had to witness the loved ones bleed to death at the hands of terror. had it not been for his wife, this horrific attack would have taken the lives of the entire extended solomon family. she hid the children while a neighbor heard the screams of the victims and bravely brutalized the terrorist before he could complete his massacre. mr. president, we cannot continue to ignore the call of these ghastly assaults. friday's attack did not happen in a vacuum. no. this terrorist committed a heinous crime following rampant relentless calls by palestinian officials inciting violence. palestinian president mahmoud
abbas publicly endured the payment of salaries to convicted terrorists and their families. schools are named for mass murderers. monuments dedicated to these killers stand at the center of palestinian towns and villages. palestinians in gaza even celebrated friday's horrific events. the result is clear. palestinians are radicalized and encouraged to kill innocent israelis in cold blood. it is no secret that the palestinians have built an industry of incitement. how many more innocence will be murdered? how many more terrorists will be paid to kill? and how many thousands of dollars will the solomon's killer be rewarded? this incitement, this culture of hate, this glorification of terror must end now. mr. president, we have assembled
in this room to examine the situation in the middle east. so let's examine the situation. the real situation, the call of so much violence in our region and around the world comes from the unrelenting glorification of terror. the tools cannot continue to be sidelined. the unspeakable atrocity this past friday was not an isolated incident. it's encouragement has been going on for decades. the palestinian won't admit it. they make up excuses. they divert your attention from the truth. they just claimed that israeli seeks to change established temple mount and that is violence. mr. president, nothing could be further from the truth. israel's top priority is to maintain the safety and security
of all temple mount worshippers and visitors. the palestinians' top priority is to ignite violence. let me take you back to october 4th, 2003. jews and arabs gathered fotogetr in famous restaurant, a symbol of coexistence, of brotherhood and of peace. enjoying a family lunch, no one suspected the impending violence. on that october day, a female palestinian student disguised herself as a pregnant woman. she walked into the restaurant with one twisted intention in mind, to blow herself up. and kill as many innocent people as possible.
in cold blood, she took lives of 21 jews and arabs. and badly injured 51 more. dead customers were still sitting in their chairs blood spilling out of their bodies. babies and young children were whipped across the room from the force of the blast. no plight, no struggle can justify these disgusting acts of terror. no claim of victimhood can validate the cruelty, the insanity of this sick crimes. terror of many untold victims. at just 10 years old, he lost his father, grandfather, his grandmother, his brother and his cousin because of that woman. he was badly burned and blinded.
he is here with us today. the family of the killer earned tens of thousands of dollars in payments for her crime. the two accomplices have earned over $500,000. in total payments. and it's only growing. the longer the prison days, the higher the terror rage. his father declined all condolences and called his daughter a gift. a gift indeed. his family earned a blank check for suicide. in october 2012, the loyals
union awarded the top prize to this terrorist. the union even sent a delegation to her family to present them with the award. professional women in israel like in many of your countries win award for art, science, and business. professional palestinian women win awards for murder. israeli women become chief executive officers. palestinian women like this become chief executive killers. the palestinian authority is just as guilty as the terror groups themselves. abbas not only had the audacity to claim he seeks peace but actively fund, promotes, and glorifies terror. in 2016, the palestinian authority spent over $300 million. yes, you heard me right. $300 million on salaries paid to
terrorists and their families. mass killers and with innocent blood on their hands, the pa and abbas dedicate nearly 7% of the budget to funding terrorist and their families. how much of their budget do they spend on higher education? as low as 1%. you don't need a university degree to determine where the p.a.'s priorities lie. mahmoud abbas has made his position clear. he supports pay to slay. just recently said, i will not compromise on the salary of a martyr or a prisoner. this is a little of the palestinian authority who pays terrorists to kill. the truth is plain and simple. israel values every life and the
p.a. praises every death. not only does israel cherish life, but israel believes firmly in building a better future for every person. in israel we value the freedom of expression, the freedom of ideas and the freedom of religion, for all religions. in israel we empower women and minorities. we protect the rights of muslims, christians and jews to pray at their holy sites. we commit to ensuring the safety of all worshippers and visitors. and we're committed to taking the necessary measures to guarantee the complete security. in israel, we teach our children to invest in democratic values in the genuine enduring peace. the palestinians do not. they teach hate. they invest in terror. and they celebrate death in
palestinian classrooms, fourth graders solve problems to calculate the number of terrorists killed in suicide attacks against jews. if children are surrounded by the praising of terror in and out of school, they are destined to kill. israel wants nothing more than to simply live in peace with the neighbors. we extend a hand in peace but the palestinians continue to say no. prime minister netanyahu has stated time and again, we are ready and willing to negotiate any time and anywhere. mr. president, united nations is an organization dedicated to peace, human rights and justice. one might think it would be quick to condemn the glorification of terror wherever it happened, but this is hardly the case, especially with the
palestinians. the p.a. has mastered the art of deceit, and the international community has fallen for it. the palestinians spin. they label convicted terrorists, those who send suicide bombers to israeli restaurants who stabbed israelis in the streets and who seek israel's ultimate destruction, they call them and i quote, political prisoners. but worst of all, palestinians fund their terrorist scheme through the generous donations of other countries. that's right. the international community has allowed almost 30% of foreign aid, mental support, palestinian well-being to sponsor blood money. israel will not tolerate the bankrolling of terror any longer. we will not accept the glorified killing of our citizens.
i turn to the palestinian representative. tell him, tell this council that the palestinian authority will stop paying the terrorists thousands of dollars every month. tell them that you stop abusing international aid. stop using foreign funds to promote terror. your silence speaks for itself. i quote, after what i have gone through, i know that even if they helped you, they can defeat you. if we remain united and continue to keep our togetherness, no one can beat us. he is a true hero. a true patriot and a true model for the appreciation of life.
like him and all the people of israel, this council must value life over death. the blind acceptance of murder cannot go on. the silence in the face of terror must end. i turn now to the security council, a body founded to ensure, and i quote, the maintenance of international peace and security for all. you must not sacrifice the core values of justice, morality and truth for cheap political victories and empty promises. let us pledge to work together, to end this vulgar exploitation of international aid. let us hold the palestinians accountable and make sure they teach their children to seek peace. only then, only then will we see the possibility of real peace in our region. thank you. >> thank you for your briefing. the united states shares everyone's concern about the heightened tensions in jerusalem.
all parties should work to reduce these tensions and we offer whatever assistance we can in helping to do this. at the holy sites, it is vital that both access and security be ensured. in keeping with his recommendation, i'm going to refrain from further comment on this sensitive issue in the hope that wisdom will prevail over emotions. this is our monthly gathering to discuss the middle east. the complicated and seemingly unending conflict there is frustrating to many americans. it's frustrating to me. but truth be told, the security council often makes the middle east more complicated than it actually is. it obsesses over israel. and it refuses to acknowledge one of the chief sources of conflict and killing in the middle east. that is iran and its partner militia lebanese hezbollah.
hezbollah is a terrorist organization. in its own words it is dedicated to the destruction of israel. it has the blood of hundreds of americans and thousands of others on its hands. together with its iranian patron, hezbollah seeks to cause destruction throughout the middle east. some see two wings to hezbollah, a terrorist wing and a political and social wing. this is a convenient excuse for hezbollah, but it is dangerous fiction. just because a terrorist group also promotes political candidates for office doesn't make it any less a terrorist group. for a glance of hezbollah's true nature, look no further than the work on behalf of the syrian dictator. from its base in lebanon, hezbollah sends its men into syria. there they have been responsible for some of the bloodiest campaigns of a very bloody war.
they are returning to lebanon, battle hardened and their presence in syria keeps open their supply route of sophisticated weapons from iran. simply put, hezbollah has grown stronger. it is preparing its men and its arsenal for a future war. none of this is secret. the leader of hezbollah boasts about the destruction of his group, that his group is capable of. he talks openly about the support iran provides. hezbollah even takes journalists on tours of its military operations on the border lebanon shares with israel. operations that are in defiance of this council. it's no secret where the united nations stands either. it has passed multiple resolutions calling on hezbollah to disarm. it is called on the lebanese state to control over its territory. but neither of these things has happened. the trend is very much in the
opposite direction. hezbollah openly defies these resolutions and impedes the lebanese government's ability to exercise full control over its territory. for too long, the security council has chosen to pretend that the status quo is acceptable for the people of lebanon. it is not. hezbollah's illegal weapons build-up is putting the people of lebanon in great danger. remarkably this council cannot even bring itself it use the word hezbollah in recent resolutions in statements in lebanon. many are happy to name israel time after time. but hezbollah is somehow off limits. it's absurd. worse than that, it's dangerous. the least the american people expect from this council is to acknowledge the obvious threats right in front of us. how can i explain to them that there is a terrorist organization preparing its men and its arsenal for war, but the
united nations refuses to even say their name? this must change. we must show hezbollah they cannot get away with illegal weapons. the peacekeeping force in lebanon has an important role to play. the united states support unifil but there is much more the unifil should do to prevent the conflict. it can begin by acknowledging what is happening right under its knows. there are reports of unifil not fulfilling alleged violations. sometimes it fails to report what investigators have found. if unifil can't acknowledge weapons that hezbollah parades in front of the media one wonders what else it's missing. we will have more to say about unifil when its mandate is up for renewal next month. the american people sympathize with the challenges facing the lebanese people. we will continue to support them
as they combat isis and host over a million syrian refugees. we understand that the issues in the middle east are complex. but we also understand right and wrong. and we expect our leaders to know the difference as well. hezbollah is a destructive terrorist force. it is a major obstacle to peace. and the dangers it poses are getting larger, not smaller. simply acknowledging this and saying it outloud would be a significant step forward. but we must do more than that. we must begin to get serious about enforcing our own resolutions that have been routinely violated by iran and hezbollah. thank you. we didn't cut our way to surpluses in the '90s. we didn't tax our way to surplus in the '90s. what we had was a circumstance