UNITED NATIONS, Nov 29 (APP): :Warning that current trends could worsen the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and destabilize the region, the UN Middle East Envoy, Tor Wennesland, has called on all parties to rein in violence and incitement and take urgent steps towards achieving the two-State solution, amid a stalled peace process.
Briefing the UN Security Council on Monday, the envoy warned that the conflict is once again reaching a boiling point, with — most recently — violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in Hebron and bomb attacks in Jerusalem which killed two Israelis and injured more than a dozen other civilians. In Gaza, meanwhile, a fragile calm was interrupted by outbreak of new violence.
“Political leadership is required to reset a trajectory towards a two-State solution,” Wennesland said, adding that a failure to address both current trends and the underlying causes of the conflict will only worsen the situation and destabilize the region.
Noting his engagements with Palestinian and Israeli officials as well as international and regional actors, he said the United Nations has worked closely to mediate and support ceasefires and is also leading the humanitarian response, providing fuel to Gaza’s power plant as well as cash assistance to more than 100,000 families.
In the ensuing debate, Council members voiced concern about the increasing violence and condemned attacks against civilians. Speakers also echoed the UN envoy’s call for both sides to refrain from unilateral actions and work towards the goal of a two-State solution.
The United Arab Emirates’ representative, Mohamed Issa Abushahab, urged the Council to send a clear message of its commitment to agreed-upon international terms of reference to end the conflict, including the need for the parties to return to serious negotiations. The two-State solution, along with adherence to the Arab Peace Initiative, remains a key demand of all Arab States, he said.
The United States’ Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that unfortunately, most United Nations actions are not designed to advance the two-State solution, but rather seek to denigrate Israel.
The lopsided focus on Israel is manifested in biased resolutions, an open-ended commission of inquiry and a draft resolution that would have the General Assembly request for an advisory opinion at the International Court of Justice.
Going forward, she said, the United Nations should take concrete steps that preserve the viability of a two-State solution “instead of grandstanding and pursuing unproductive measures.”