UN envoy urges coordinated approach to address Israeli-Palestinian peace

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland (on the screen) speaks via a video link during a Security Council open debate at the UN headquarters in New York, on Jan. 19, 2022. (Loey Felipe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

United Nations, (Asian independent) Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, stressed the urgent need for a coordinated approach to address political, economic and institutional obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The deterioration of the economic, security and political situation across the occupied Palestinian territory continues and urgent steps are required to prevent the situation from worsening, he told the Security Council in a briefing.

The Palestinian Authority’s fiscal situation continues to be dire, threatening its institutional stability and its ability to provide services to its people, he said.

Violence continues unabated across the occupied Palestinian territory, including settler violence, leading to numerous Palestinian and Israeli casualties and increasing the risk of a broader escalation. Settlement activity, demolitions, and evictions also continued, feeding hopelessness and further diminishing prospects for a negotiated solution, Wennesland claimed.

“We must be frank about what is needed to reverse these trends and provide momentum toward a reinvigorated peace process. Piecemeal approaches and half measures will only ensure that the underlying issues perpetuating the conflict continue to fester and worsen over time,” said the envoy.

Unilateral steps and conflict drivers must stop, he said, adding that political and economic reforms must be implemented to ensure the Palestinian Authority’s continued ability to function effectively, while boosting donor confidence and support.

Above all, he said, efforts by the parties and the international community to stabilise and improve conditions on the ground should be linked to a political framework.

“Without a realistic prospect of an end to the occupation and the realization of a two-state solution based on UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements, it is only a matter of time before we face an irreversible, dangerous collapse and widespread instability.”

The UN will continue to actively engage with regional and international partners and with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, said Wennesland.