Middle East: Mounting violence leaving ‘scores of Palestinian and Israeli casualties’ |

Speaking via videoconference from Jerusalem, Tor Wennesland, expressed alarm at the continuing protests and clashes; violence involving settlers; and the rocket fire from Gaza at Israel, the first in months, he called “A reminder of fragility” in the land of the Palestinians.

“Violence is increased and exacerbated by provocative steps and extremist words,” he said, calling for “immediate steps to reduce tensions and reverse negative trends.” undermine the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two States”.

The high-level envoy drew attention to specific incidents, including the deaths of two Palestinian men, a 16-year-old boy and an Israeli settler.

Key observe

In updating ambassadors on the settlement and seizure of Palestinian-owned structures, including internationally funded humanitarian projects, Mr. Wennesland reminded that the Israeli Government was “violating” serious violations” of United Nations resolutions and international law, and called on the country to stop. convulsion and destruction.

He said he was “deeply concerned about the continuation of violence against civilians”, calling for a stop and all perpetrators to be held accountable.

The UN envoy also called the recent unjustified attacks by Palestinians and Arab-Israelis against civilians in Israel “the deadliest in years”, stressing that they “must be denied”. clear by all”.

“I also condemn the Israeli security forces’ continued killing of Palestinians, including children, especially in incidents where they do not appear to be imminently life-threatening,” he continued, noting that Note that 15 Palestinian children were killed in the West Bank. this year, compared with nine in the same period in 2021.

Mr. Wennesland reiterated that “security forces must exercise maximum restraint”, and only use lethal force to protect lives.

Switch to The shooting death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqlehhe flagged the disruptive behavior of several Israeli security services at her funeral and repeated the Secretary-General’s call for an independent and transparent investigation into her murder and those responsible. responsibility to be responsible.

“Journalists should never be the target of violence.

Political fragility

Meanwhile, the persistence of conflict dynamics and the lack of political will to change course have empowered extremists and are eroding Palestinian and Israeli perceptions that a lasting peace will be possible, the Special Coordinator warns.

He said it was important to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and for Israel to ease restrictions and facilitate more economic activity, such as better access to the Israeli labor market for Gazan workers.

However, Mr. Wennesland acknowledged, maintaining a state of calm permanently “is neither enough nor sustainable”.

“There is no substitute for a legitimate political process that will solve the core issues that lead to conflict,” he said. “I call on the Israelis, the Palestinians, the nations of the region and the wider international community to take steps to help the parties get back on the road to meaningful negotiations and ultimately peace.” .

A boy rides a bicycle next to destroyed buildings after an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

© UNRWA / Samar Abu Elouf

A boy rides a bicycle next to destroyed buildings after an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

Money woes

According to the Special Coordinator, the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis – plus the limitations of the occupation, the absence of serious Palestinian reforms, and the prospect of donor support is unknown. clear – requires urgent attention, according to the Special Coordinator.

“As commodity prices skyrocket, humanitarian needs and costs are increasing” across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), he explained, noting that the price of flour has increased by about 20 percent. in the West Bank and over 40% in Gaza while transportation costs have skyrocketed by more than 25% since last year.

An additional $36 million is needed to keep OPT running through the end of the year – and offset the growing costs.

Facing similar difficulties, the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA) is still $100 million short.

Encouraging donors to provide the financial resources needed to meet rising costs, the senior UN official argued that supporting basic services and humanitarian needs is more than just humanitarian imperative that is “but also important to future stability”.

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