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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Washington - Ali Barada

UN Envoy Warns of ‘Dangerous Collapse’ Amid Absence of 2-State Solution

A Palestinian protester against the settlements in Beit Dajan in the West Bank raises the Palestinian flag in front of Israeli soldiers last November (EPA)

The UN’s Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, warned that amid the absence of “a realistic prospect of an end to the occupation and the realization of a two-state solution”, it is only a matter of time before reaching “dangerous collapse and widespread instability.”

The Security Council held a session on the ministerial level on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian.

Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, participated in the session knowing that the country assumed the presidency of the Security Council for January.

“The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) fiscal situation continues to be dire, threatening its institutional stability and its ability to provide services to its people,” Wennesland said in his briefing.

“Violence continues unabated across the OPT, including settler violence, leading to numerous Palestinian and Israeli casualties, and increasing the risk of a broader escalation.”

“Settlement activity, demolitions, and evictions also continue, feeding hopelessness and further diminishing prospects for a negotiated solution,” he told the Council.

“Piecemeal approaches and half measures will only ensure that the underlying issues perpetuating the conflict continue to fester and worsen over time.”

“Political and economic reforms must be implemented to ensure the PA’s continued ability to function effectively while boosting donor confidence and support,” said Wennesland.

The UN envoy stressed that “efforts by the parties and the international community to stabilize 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,” he warned.

In his statement, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Maliki insisted that “resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), offer the only path to peace.”

He further stressed that as much as it is important to enact the law and to condemn those violating it, it is equally essential to pursue enforcement and ensure accountability. “You want to help us end this conflict, end Israeli impunity.”

“Indeed, bias favoring Israel has prevented the Council from acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. It has allowed Israel to accuse even its closest partners of anti-Semitism for passing resolutions rooted in international law,” he said.

Nada Majdalani, Palestinian Director of EcoPeace Middle East, said children in Gaza “are growing up in a reality that no child in the world should experience,” citing water shortages, and cold nights without electricity or fuel.

For his part, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan slammed the bias of the Security Council, which says nothing “about attacks committed daily by Palestinians with rocks.”

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