Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov has warned that “destabilizing factors” in the region could pull Israelis and Palestinians further towards a “one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”
Mladenov was briefing the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East on Wednesday.
“We are again at a pivotal moment in the search for peace as a convergence of destabilizing factors threatens to pull Israelis and Palestinians further towards a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict,” he said.
“I remain committed to supporting both sides to resolve the conflict and end the occupation in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements in pursuit of achieving the vision of two states – Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, viable and sovereign Palestinian state – within secure and recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” he told the Council.
Mladenov reiterated the call of UN chief Antonio Guterres to the members of the Middle East Quartet, key Arab partners, and to the Israeli and Palestinian leadership “to urgently re-engage and strengthen efforts to advance the goal of a negotiated two-state solution before it is too late.”
Mladenov also warned against rising daily violence, which he said continues to fuel mistrust. Israel must ensure the safety and security of the Palestinians and “must exercise maximum restraint and may use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”
According to him, Israel’s suspension of plans to annex parts of the West Bank removed a critical threat that had the potential to upend peace and regional stability.
He warned, however, that the threat remains. “I am concerned by recent discussions in the Israeli Knesset which demonstrate the intensifying pressure on the Israeli government against Palestinians living in Area C.”
“I am deeply concerned by the serious spike in demolitions and seizures of Palestinian owned structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. I urge Israel to cease this policy immediately, in line with Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law,” he said.