On 26 May 2022 the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, told the Security Council that “recent weeks have been filled with the familiar pattern of daily violence, including armed clashes, settlement expansion, evictions, demolitions and seizures of Palestinian structures, as well as a deadly terrorist attack in Israel.
“Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority’s financial situation – compounded by the constraints of the occupation, the absence of serious Palestinian reforms and unclear prospects for donor support – is dire and requires urgent attention. Without meaningful policy steps on the part of Israel, bold reforms on the part of the PA and increased donor support, these economic challenges will continue.
“In Gaza, efforts by the United Nations and international partners to improve Palestinian lives and measures by Israel to ease pressure and facilitate more economic activity have enabled the fragile ceasefire to continue. Keeping the calm, however, is neither enough nor sustainable – more needs to be done to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and lift Israeli closures, in line with UNSCR 1860 (2009).
“The persistence of these conflict drivers, and the absence of real political will to change course, has empowered extremists and is eroding the perception among Palestinians and Israelis that a resolution of the conflict is achievable. These dynamics – combined with the financial crisis – are dangerously converging and intensifying.
“While immediate steps to reverse negative trends and support the Palestinian people are essential, a better coordinated and strategic approach by the parties and the international community is needed. Economic relief must be expanded and made more sustainable. An agreed and updated regulatory framework for the Israeli – Palestinian economic relationship is not only vital to bringing about meaningful economic dividends for the Palestinians but would add a tangible political perspective to these economic steps.
“This approach, however, must be combined with political and security steps that address core conflict drivers and ultimately lead us towards an end to the occupation and the achievement of a negotiated two-State solution.”
To read his full briefing visit unsco.unmissions.org/security-council-briefing-26-may-2022-0
Image: A Palestinian Bedouin refugee community. © UNRWA