UNITED NATIONS, Aug 18 (APP):UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has presented four possibilities to improve the protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation, including the establishment of an armed military or police force.
The proposals were outlined in a report requested by the UN General Assembly in response to increased tensions in Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since late March.
The U.N. chief stressed in the report released Friday evening that every option would require the cooperation of Israelis and Palestinians, “a sustained cessation of hostilities and additional resources.”
There were no immediate comments from Israel or its powerful ally– the United States.
In the 14-page report, the secretary-general proposed:
Providing a more robust UN presence on the ground with rights monitors and political officers to report on the situation.
Pouring in more UN humanitarian and development aid to ensure the well-being of the population.
Creating a civilian observer mission that would be present in sensitive areas such as checkpoints and near Israeli settlements, with a mandate to report on protection issues.
Deploying an armed military or police force, under a UN mandate, to provide physical protection to Palestinian civilians.
The combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions, and a deadlocked peace process provides for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically,” Guterres wrote.
“The best way to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population is still the negotiation of a comprehensive, just and final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he continued.