Middle East: Switzerland calls for immediate de-escalation and respect for international law

Press release, 12.05.2021

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is extremely concerned about the ongoing escalation of violence in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory. It reiterates its call on all parties to respect their obligations under international law.

The FDFA strongly condemns the firing, from the Gaza Strip into Israel, of missiles that have killed and injured a number of civilians. Indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population and infrastructures are illegal under international humanitarian law and must stop. The FDFA also deplores the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. This operation has resulted in several deaths and injuries and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.

All necessary precautions must be taken to avoid civilian casualties. The principles of proportionality and of distinction in the conduct of hostilities must also be respected in accordance with international humanitarian law. "This escalation must stop immediately in order to avoid further casualties," said Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the FDFA. He reiterated his call on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, in particular international humanitarian law, and to protect the civilian population and infrastructure.

Switzerland is convinced that only a two-state solution negotiated by both parties in accordance with international law and internationally agreed parameters, including UN Security Council resolutions, can lead to lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In this context, the FDFA reiterates its support for the preservation of the historical status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The FDFA is closely monitoring developments and maintaining contact with all parties to work towards de-escalation as a matter of utter urgency.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs