MADRID, September 30 (European press) –
The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wencesland, told the UN Security Council that Israel continued to “destroy and seize buildings” in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Wencesland criticized that the Israeli authorities, especially since July, carried out this kind of activity, demolishing or seizing more than 300 enclaves, causing the displacement of more than 430 people, including 251 children and 102 women.
In the same way, she noted that although new housing plans were not approved in the settlements, the “daily violence” continued.
Wencesland noted that all settlements in the Palestinian territories are “illegal under international law” and “undermine the prospects for a viable two-state solution.” It is for this reason, he said, that Israel should “end demolitions and evictions, and approve plans that allow communities to undertake legal construction work.”
In the period since July, the conflict between the two sides has claimed the lives of 24 Palestinians at the hands of Israeli security forces, while another 4,674 have been injured.
On the Israel side, Wencesland noted that one soldier was killed by Palestinians and that 29 others were injured in clashes and other incidents.
Thus, the UN Special Envoy demanded a halt to the firing of rockets and incendiary devices towards Israeli population centers, as well as a halt to the arrest of human rights defenders, journalists and activists “on charges that contravene their right to access freedom of expression.”
Similarly, in the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) must “stop impeding the delivery of necessary humanitarian aid.”
This whole context permeates the “growing financial crisis” facing the Palestinian Authority, which “severely affects its ability to cover minimal expenditures, including government salaries and payments to families in need.”
Faced with this situation, the Israeli and Palestinian authorities approved a loan of about $150 million – approximately 130 million euros – he said.
Finally, Wenesland noted that “the recent commitment of senior Israeli and Palestinian officials is encouraging,” but that these efforts “must continue” to address the “disturbing situation” facing the region.
The Special Envoy concluded his speech by saying, “I once again urge the Israelis, the Palestinians, the countries of the region and the international community in general to take practical measures that will allow the parties to return to the path of peace.”
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