UN warns of deteriorating security situation in Palestine

Published May 27th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

A UN body has issued a grave warning about the deteriorating political and security situation across the occupied Palestinian territories, pointing to a "lack of political horizon," in a report released Monday.

The report was prepared by the UN Special Coordinator (UNSCO) for the Middle East peace process ahead of the bi-annual meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians.

It said that the untenable "status quo" in the occupied territories will "inexorably lead to the continued erosion of living conditions for Palestinians and for Israelis alike and will undermine the security and stability of all."

The report noted "grave concerns" about divisions in the Palestinian political leadership, but also said that "there is no immediate prospect that a return to negotiations with the Palestinians will be an immediate priority of the new Israeli administration."

UNSCO called on the Israeli government to take credible steps to affirm it's commitment to the two-state solution, including a freeze on settlement activity and opening Gaza's border crossings. 

"2014 saw the highest number ever of tenders for settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank for ten years," the report said.

Highlighting the deteriorating security situation, the report underlined the total of 12 Palestinians killed by Israel forces since October, with more than 2,000 others injured, and over 3,000 reported arrests.

Israeli forces have so far conducted a weekly average of 86 search and arrest operations this year, the report said, up from 75 a week in 2014.

UNSCO raised serious concern in regard to violent clashes in occupied East Jerusalem, noting that the clashes revealed "the extent of the frustrations that grips the Palestinian population after almost 50 years of occupation."

"The increasingly religious nature of violence in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank is particularly alarming," the report stated.

The report pointed to "an increase in search and arrest operations by Israeli forces in Jerusalem, resulting in 1305 arrests and 880 injuries from October 2014 to March 2014," as well as a number of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

In Gaza, meanwhile, the ceasefire that ended last summer's war between Israel and Hamas remains "perilously fragile," the report said.

While Palestinian armed groups have test-fired around 150 rockets into the sea, Israeli forces have carried out a range of military incursions into the coastal enclave, including two air strikes.


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