(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The past month has witnessed unconscionable crimes of hatred by extremist elements and reprehensible retaliatory violence, which made the risk of escalation in Israel and Palestine "palpable," UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said.
Briefing the Security Council this morning, Feltman affirmed that over 20 years of failed negotiations have bred mistrust, and worse, the slow and painful withering of hope.
"In such a contentious environment, restoring confidence, before a return to realistic negotiations, is a must," he stressed. Therefore, what is needed now, he added, is a comprehensive approach on three levels, on the ground, in the region, and with the international community to alter fundamentally the current negative dynamics and begin to shape a clear and positive pathway towards peace.
Feltman reiterated Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's condemnation of the horrific terrorist attack against the Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, committed by "extremist Jewish settlers," and killed an 18 month-old, and his father. He urged Israeli Government to promptly bring the perpetrators to justice.
Moreover, Feltman said that recent changes in Israeli law and policy affecting the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, risk compounding already-precarious human rights situation.
Turning to Gaza, the unrelenting pressure on socio-economic situation due to continued closures, lack of electricity, water and slow pace of reconciliation, he added, "continues to feed the discontent go the population." Welcoming "some" positive developments on reconstruction, particularly under the Residential Stream of Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, the UN Official thanked Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Germany for the financial assistance, where 2,250 families have been processed.
Furthermore, he told the Council members that Ban is relieved by the announcement today by Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl, that the UNRWA schools will indeed open in time, expressing appreciation once again to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, US, UK, UAE, as well as other European countries.
Kuwait has donated lately USD 15 million to UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.
During his briefing, Feltman touched upon the Syrian crisis, and affirmed that hostilities must end, as parties must show genuine commitment to resolving conflict through irreversible political transition.
Nevertheless, he called on Lebanon's leaders to act urgently and responsibly by filling the presidential vacuum without further delay.
After being briefed, the members of the Council, led by Nigeria, went in for closed consultations.