Senior UN official deplores ‘continuing absence’ of political solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 30 (APP):A senior UN official has deplored the “continuing absence” of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that the status quo will only lead to further deterioration of the situation in the region.

Under-Secretary-General for political affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, who was briefing the UN Security Council on the latest situation in the Middle East, said hopes for two States living side by side in peace, continue to be replaced by the rising fears of future annexation — obviously referring to Israel’s settlement activities.

“The possibility of establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian State continues to be eroded by facts on the ground”, she told the 15-member Council in an open debate on Monday.

”Under the pressure of violence, settlement expansion, unilateral measures, intra-Palestinian divisions and deepening mutual mistrust, the prospects for a just and lasting peace remains ever more elusive, Ms. DiCarlo added.

“The United Nations has repeatedly warned that the conflict cannot be managed in perpetuity. The status quo will only lead to further deterioration of the situation, radicalization on all sides, more suffering and conflict,” she said.

DiCarlo reported continued violence between Israelis and Palestinians is a worsening financial crisis for Palestine and a dire humanitarian and economic crisis in Gaza.

“As we mobilize to address the critical needs of the Palestinian population, be it in Gaza or the West Bank, we shall not lose sight of the core political issue, namely the prospect of two peaceful and secure states living side by side in harmony,” she said.

“This imperative compels us all to work with the parties, bring them back to the negotiation table and urge them to avoid unilateral actions that undermine the prospect for peace … However, only determined action by the parties themselves can salvage the two-state solution.”

Otherwise, she said, Palestinians and Israelis will continue to live their lives knowing only conflict, mistrust and fear, rather than the infinite possibilities that would come with a just and lasting peace.

In a continuing cycle of violence, Ms. DiCarlo noted that out of seven Palestinians overall, four children had been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the first quarter of the year, with 1,316 injured during ongoing protests, centred around the border fence.

She condemned violence on both sides, and reminded Israel lethal force could only be used β€œin response to an imminent threat of death or serious injury as a last resort.”