Political failures, lack of hope, at root of latest Israeli-Palestinian violence: UN
Oct.23, New York: The Israel-Palestine conflict has “once again entered a dangerous phase,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council, warning that the latest eruption of violence, rising tensions at holy sites in Jerusalem and the alarmingly vitriolic nature of public discourse in the region is rooted in the lack of hope on both sides that peace is possible and the absence of a genuine political horizon.
Stressing that the violence gripping the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as Israel and Gaza shows no signs of abating, Mr. Eliasson strongly condemned 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 declared.
Eliasson’s briefing to the Council, in a meeting chaired by José Manuel Garcfa-Margallo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, which holds the 15-member body’s presidency for the month, comes as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is wrapping up a three-day mission to the region, including Jordan, to ease tensions.
The first priority for all is to immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and urgently achieve real progress towards a negotiated two-state solution. Underscoring the urgency of swiftly calming tensions, he reported that from 1 to 21 October, 47 Palestinians and seven Israelis had been killed. More than 5,000 Palestinians and some 70 Israelis have been injured.
Conflict deteriorated mainly due to loss of hope in Palestinians to achieve a viable Palestinian state, poor economy in the country along with lack of job and opportunities, lack of security and legal and administrative processes and the ‘stifling and humiliating occupation’ that Palestinians have lived under for almost half a century, he added.
“They see, instead, the growth of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which undermines the very possibility of a two-state solution and poses growing security risks to all. They see the emergence of a parallel de-facto settler community, with better infrastructure, services and security than in Palestinian populated areas,” Eliasson informed.
“This is murder, full stop. Crimes like these risk perpetuating the current climate of fear and mistrust. We call on all stakeholders, including the Palestinian leadership, to unequivocally condemn the violence and stand up publicly to extremism and incitement.”
He urged the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process to continue its outreach to regional and international partners to contribute to a comprehensive resolution of the conflict.
He also reaffirmed the commitment of United Nations to at the side of Israelis, Palestinians and international partners to advance this crucial goal towards peace and reconciliation.
The Oslo Times