Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Has Entered Dangerous Phase – UN | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Has Entered Dangerous Phase – UN

Posted: Oct 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, on Thursday in New York, told the Security Council that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had once again entered a dangerous phase.

Eliasson said this while briefing the council on the situation in the Middle East, adding that the eruption of violence gripping the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as Israel and Gaza, showed no signs of abating.

According to Eliasson, 47 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed between Oct. 1 and Oct. 21. More than 5,000 Palestinians and some 70 Israelis have been injured.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, all attacks against Israelis and Palestinians alike. The recent wave of knife attacks and shootings is particularly appalling.

“There can be no justification for such despicable acts,” he said.

Eliasson said as reported to the council, the secretary-general travelled to Israel, Palestine and Jordan where he met with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and King Abdullah II.

He said in Ban’s exchanges, he condemned and conveyed alarm at the upsurge in attacks and violence over the past two weeks and offered his deep condolences to the people of Israel and Palestine.

“Let us be clear: there is no justification whatsoever for murder and that should not stop us from asking why the situation has deteriorated.

“This crisis would not have erupted if the Palestinian people had a perspective of hope towards a viable Palestinian state and if they had an economy that provided jobs and opportunities.

“The crisis would not have erupted if they had more control over their security and the legal and administrative processes that define their daily existence in short, ” he said.

He said that the secretary-general was also concerned that Israeli authorities had resumed punitive demolitions, targeting the homes of perpetrators, or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces.

Incitement, he explained, was another factor significantly fuelling the situation.

The deputy secretary-general said that while the leadership on both sides had tempered their rhetoric of late, misleading and inflammatory public statements continue to surface from all sides.

The vitriolic nature of the public discourse, he said, was alarming.

“Every incident that takes place evokes impassioned narratives and counter-narratives that feed a vicious cycle of hatred and division.

“The first priority for all of us must be de-escalation of violence.

“Let me emphasise again, as the secretary-general did yesterday, that the violence is mainly rooted in the absence of a genuine political narrative and horizon.

“Each month we have conveyed to this council the reality on the ground which is the setting of this latest outbreak.

“Efforts must be intensified from all quarters to restore Palestinian and Israeli hope that peace is still possible.

“We must urgently achieve real progress towards a negotiated two-state solution,” he said.

To do so, he said, the UN should see significant change of policies, consistent with prior agreements, which would strengthen the Palestinian institutions, economy and security.

He said this would help create the conditions for the parties to return to meaningful negotiations.

He added that the Middle East Quartet Envoys must continue their outreach to regional and international partners to examine how they may contribute to a comprehensive resolution of the conflict.

The UN official said Palestinians and Israelis deserved a future free from the fear of repeated new rounds of violence.

He told the council that the UN would continue to work at the side of Israelis, Palestinians and international partners to advance this crucial goal towards peace and reconciliation.