The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process has expressed concern over the persisting violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories, saying the destabilizing deterioration of the situation in the absence of political solutions would “reset the trajectory.”
“Across the West Bank, daily violence continues; tensions in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the refugee camps are mounting and settler violence remains a serious concern. Illegal settlements and planning processes are steadily advancing, alongside demolitions and evictions, including in and around Jerusalem (al-Quds),” Tor Wennesland told the Security Council.
He highlighted that the ongoing worrying trends are increasing the territorial fragmentation of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinian Authority (PA), and further eroding prospects for peace.
Wennesland also called for urgent action to avert the fiscal collapse of the Ramallah-based PA, which continues to face a prolonged financial crisis that is affecting service delivery and crippling the economy.
Also in his remarks, the senior UN official noted that “a fragile calm” currently prevails in the besieged Gaza Strip.
He emphasized that “Palestinian divisions and the Israeli closure regime are creating a generation who have experienced multiple wars and humanitarian crises and who have few prospects for a better life” in the coastal sliver.
Wennesland then outlined the violence that has occurred throughout the occupied Palestinian territories since his last briefing in January.
“Six Palestinians, including two children, were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank during this period. These deaths occurred during demonstrations, clashes, search-and-arrest operations, attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis, as well as other incidents,” he said.
The UN official said some 205 Palestinians, including 25 children, were injured during the mentioned period.
Wennesland then underscored the need for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, urging the Tel Aviv regime, Palestinians, regional states, and the international community to take firm action to get the parties back on the path to negotiations.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East al-Quds after the 1967 Middle East war.
Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.