Tor Wennesland updated ambassadors on a series of violations, including “pressurizing” Palestinians to leave their homes and plans to build new outposts.
“The absence of a meaningful peace process to end the Israeli occupation and resolve the conflict is fueling a dangerous deterioration across the entire OPT. [Occupied Palestinian Territory]especially on the West Coast, and lead to the perception that the conflict cannot be resolved,” he said.
📽️UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process @TWennesland inform the Security Council of the deteriorating security situation, high levels of settler-related violence against Palestinians in the West Bank & it #kids continued to be killed and wounded in great numbers. pic.twitter.com/kMOqawX4bl
– UN Commission on Palestinian Rights (@UNISPAL) September 28, 2022
‘Permanent state of violence’
The UN special envoy reminded that resolution 2334 calls for “immediate steps to stop any violence against civilians”, before listing a series of attacks carried out between June and September in West Bank and Gaza, most of which left Palestinians dead or injured. .
“I am especially appalled that children continue to be killed and injured in large numbers,” he said. “Children should never be the target of violence or harm.”
He said Israel should only use lethal force when it is “absolutely unavoidable to save life”, must thoroughly investigate all deaths or injuries resulting in “forced consequences”. responsible people must be held accountable”.
“Negotiations can no longer be indefinitely delayed,” continued Mr. Wennesland, noting that current progress is moving towards a “permanent state of violence and conflict.”
Reversing the ‘negative trend’
When resolution 2334 also called for immediate steps to “reverse the negative trend … promote a two-state solution”, he described some positive developments, such as those on 7 July. when President Abbas and Defense Minister Gantz met in Ramallah and the next day when Israel President Herzog and Prime Minister Lapid, spoke with President Abbas by phone.
And during his July visit to Israel and the OPT, US President Biden announced a $100 million donation to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network; $201 million for the UN’s Palestinian refugee relief agency, UNRWA, and $15 million to tackle food insecurity.
Furthermore, Israel has issued about 16,000 work permits and other business permits to Palestinians in Gaza and extended social benefits under Israeli labor law to workers entering from the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Special Envoy informed the 15 Council members of the Secretary-General’s concerns about the continued expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
He stressed that the Supreme Court’s decision Mitzpeh Kramim could set a legal precedent for additional outposts, demolition and seizure of Palestinian-owned property.
He also noted civilian casualties due to the latest escalation in Gaza; indiscriminate rocket launches there by Palestinian militants; and the deteriorating security situation in the occupied West Bank.
He also relayed the UN chief’s apprehension that the “current negative trajectory” poses great risks to the institutional and socioeconomic construction that has prepared the Palestinian Authority to become the last state. together.
At the same time, the Secretary-General welcomed the Special Representative’s September 22 report on a comprehensive package of “incremental, lasting and meaningful steps” that parties and their partners need to take. to address the current situation, strengthen the Palestinian Authority, and move toward the goal of lasting peace.
UN photo / Ariana Lindquist
Concluding, Mr Wennesland stressed the need for “meaningful initiatives” to reverse the current trajectory, adding, “they need to be quick”.
“Israelis and Palestinians must define how they envision the future,” he said.
“The cessation of occupation and the realization of a two-state solution must advance our joint efforts,” he concluded, vowing to continue to “take an active part in the promotion of the goals.” this goal with the leaders of Israel and Palestine, as well as with important international and regional partners.”