Norway is following the dramatic situation in and around Gaza with deep concern. The situation is very serious. All parties must exercise the utmost restraint to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control.
The abduction of the Israeli soldier and the killing of the young Israeli settler are unacceptable acts which we deplore. Such acts can only further aggravate the already precarious situation of Palestinian civilians.
We deeply deplore the arrest of lawfully elected Palestinian politicians. They need to be released immediately.
Norway has repeatedly condemned Kassam-rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
Israeli military operations in this densely populated area are endangering the lives and causing suffering to the civilian population in Gaza. We therefore call on Israel to withdraw its forces as soon as possible.
Norway is also deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by Israeli attacks on vital infrastructure. Such collective punishment is unacceptable.
The current operations raise a number of issues of international law, whether they are police operations or military operations. According to international law any use of violence shal be necessary and proportionate. Any countermeasures against the civilian population are unacceptable under international law.
Israel must now help to restore water and energy supplies in Gaza, desist from any action that might damage vital infrastructure, and show consideration for the Palestinian civilian population.
Palestinian leaders have to make every effort to release the kidnapped Israeli soldier and bring to justice those responsible for the murder of the Israeli citizen.
Norway urges the parties to show the greatest possible restraint and allow time for negotiations so that a peaceful solution to this sreious situation can be fouind.