Palestine & Israel: Tensions, Instability & Sense of Hopelessness – Security Council Briefing

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Palestine & Israel: Tensions, Instability & Sense of Hopelessness – Security Council Briefing” – below is their description.

Briefing by Tor Wennesland, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, on the situation in the Middle East – Security Council, 8883rd meeting.


Political stagnation is “fuelling tensions, instability and a deepening sense of hopelessness”, the top UN official working towards peace in the Middle East warned the Security Council on Tuesday.

“We should have no illusions about the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland said, describing a situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) that continues to deteriorate, with no progress towards a two-State solution.

Cycle of violence

He painted a picture of an “increasingly desperate reality” shaped by extremists and unilateral actions on all sides, that threaten to heighten risks for Palestinians, Israelis and the entire region.

“Israeli and Palestinian civilians are suffering and paying a steep price for the persistence of the conflict, including the protracted occupation”, said Mr. Wennesland.

Meanwhile, settlement activity, evictions, Palestinian property seizures and movement restrictions, “further feed the cycle of violence” as Israeli civilians continue to be killed and injured in Palestinian attacks.

The UN envoy described “nightly clashes” between Israeli and Palestinian citizens, and underscored that all perpetrators of violence must be “held accountable and swiftly brought to justice”.

Settlements, holy sites

Mr. Wennesland highlighted Israeli plans for construction in E1, located adjacent to and northeast of East Jerusalem, saying that these units would “sever the connection between the northern and southern West Bank, significantly undermining the chances for establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-State solution”.

“I reiterate that all settlements are illegal under international law and remain a substantial obstacle to peace”, he spelled out.

The UN envoy noted Israel’s official adherence to preserving the status quo regarding holy sites in Jerusalem, a bloody flashpoint in recent months, reminding that it must be upheld and respected by “all sides”.

In “a welcome development”, the Special Coordinator said that Israeli and Palestinian officials had announced that some 4,000 undocumented Palestinians in the West Bank would be registered in the Palestinian population registry and receive identity documents.

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