Pervasive deteriorating facts on the ground in Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “are pushing us every further” from achieving a viable two-State solution, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council on Monday.
With the spotlight on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Special Envoy Nickolay Mlandenov detailed “new dangerous flashpoints” emerging in the region, under rapidly shifting developments in the Middle East as a whole, which have snowballed into a growing threat to international peace and security.
Occupations in Palestinian areas continue, “and no progress has been made in realizing a negotiated two-State solution,” he reported during his quarterly update to the Council on the Middle East.
“It is a multi-generational tragedy for the peoples of this land.”
A growing number of Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, remains a “substantial obstacle” in the peace process, he stressed.
In the last month, plans have advanced for housing units to expand in the occupied West Bank, and though exact numbers have yet to be confirmed, even without this latest advancement, the approval of settlement expansion so far this year is already greater than that for all of 2018, he explained.
Meanwhile, Palestinian structures have been demolished or seized as Israeli-issued building permits are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.
The teardown or seizure of 51 structures has displaced 80 Palestinians, including 40 children, he said.
Recalling the announcement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the General Assembly that he intends to set a date for elections soon, he said “the international community should support this process if it strengthens national unity and not division.”
For this to happen, agreement is needed across the occupied Palestinian territory, in accordance with relevant legislation, international best practices, and an agreed national political platform based on existing agreements, he affirmed.
Highlighting humanitarian gains, Mladenov said the UN has reported progress on urgent interventions, which “have had an important impact across many sectors.”
Emergency healthcare has benefited nearly 450,000 people in Gaza, and almost 400,000 have benefited from drugs and medical supplies.
In addition, the organization’s temporary job creation programs have produced more than 16,000 positions, with another 1,000 expected in the coming weeks.