Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’: UN

NEW YORK, Violence is on the rise in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish and confiscate Palestinian-owned homes and property, in contravention of international law, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said on Thursday.

Briefing the Security Council, Nikolay Mladenov called on Israel to stop the demolitions, adding that a negotiated resolution of the so-called final status issues � as defined by Israelis and Palestinians themselves � was essential for any lasting peace settlement.

“It is our shared responsibility to restore that prospect, to facilitate negotiations, to help the weaker party, to insulate the process from radicals and extremists and to show results,” he added.

The humanitarian and economic situation in the enclave remains dire, he added, noting extremely high rates of unemployment and poverty, with every second person in Gaza now living below the poverty line.

“We remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent,” UN Special Coordinator Mladenov said.

The senior UN official also asked Security Council members to urge all sides “to step back from the brink” and adhere to the 2014 ceasefire agreement.

He also called on the Palestinian Authority to continue working with the international community to help alleviate the suffering of its people in Gaza.

Source: Emirates News Agency