Solve the Conflict, Don’t Just Manage it, Says Supreme Envoy to Israelis and Palestinians |
“There are tangible and ongoing arrangements that can be regularized and expanded immediately – if there is political will,” Tor Wennesland said, adding that he is actively engaged with Israelis, Palestinians, states in the region and the wider international community, to forge a return to the path of negotiations that will end the occupation and establish two states.
#UN Sent @TWennesland: We must go beyond the paradigm of conflict management and move towards its resolution. There are tangible, permanent arrangements that can be regularized and extended immediately – if there is the political will. #Israel #Palestine #Security Council
— UNSCO (@UNSCO_MEPP) May 26, 2022
To be sure, the past few weeks have been marked by the familiar pattern of daily violence, he said: 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 the unclear prospects for donor aid – is dire. These dynamics, combined with the financial crisis, are “converging and intensifying dangerously”, he said.
Economic aid needed
While immediate steps to reverse the trends and support the Palestinian people are essential, a more coordinated and strategic approach by the parties and the international community is needed.
Above all, he called for broader and more sustainable economic aid. An agreed and updated regulatory framework for Israeli-Palestinian economic relations is not only vital to bringing significant economic dividends to the Palestinians, but would add tangible political perspective to those economic measures.
He also called for political and security measures that address the main drivers of conflict and ultimately lead to an end to the occupation and the achievement of a negotiated two-state solution.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Death of a hero
He also acknowledged the killing of respected Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, while she was covering events in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 11.
“His death has brought Palestinians and countless others around the world together in grief and anger,” he said, while again recalling the devastating human cost of the conflict.
In this context, he reiterated the Secretary-General’s condemnation of all attacks against journalists and his call on the competent authorities to carry out an independent and transparent investigation. “Those responsible must be held accountable,” he insisted.