UN official warns of new Israel-Palestinian fight

Toyberg-Frandzen criticised Israel’s continued settlement activity in violation of international law, saying the new construction “continues to undermine efforts to calm the tensions in Jerusalem.”



By (AP)

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2014, 1:43 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:35 AM

A senior UN official warned on Monday that lack of progress on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict ensures that a new round of violence “is never too far below the surface.”

Assistant Secretary-General Jens Toyberg-Frandzen told the UN Security Council’s monthly Mideast meeting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is alarmed at the escalation of tensions in Jerusalem and deeply concerned that violence has spread elsewhere in Israel and the West Bank.

Toyberg-Frandzen criticised Israel’s continued settlement activity in violation of international law, saying the new construction “continues to undermine efforts to calm the tensions in Jerusalem.”

He also criticised Israel’s increasing demolition of Palestinian buildings, which also violates international law, and “is also contributing to rising animosity in Jerusalem.” He noted that 82 structures including 47 homes have been demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since October 21, displacing 169 Palestinians.

Toyberg-Frandzen urged Israelis and Palestinians to demonstrate “responsible leadership, avoid taking provocative unilateral actions,” refrain from using inflammatory rhetoric to incite supporters, and return to peace talks.

“Without a genuine commitment from the parties, and an overall improvement in the lives of Palestinians, we should anticipate further deterioration of the security situation and an expansion of the current violence,” he said.

On a positive note, Toyberg-Frandzen said a UN-brokered agreement to get building materials into Gaza to rebuild the territory following this summer’s war between Israel and Hamas allowed 1,086 Gazans to purchase construction materials by November 13. He said it is also encouraging that Israel plans to increase the number of trucks with construction materials entering Gaza from the current 300 to 800 daily.

But Toyberg-Frandzen said 60,000 shelters remain in urgent need of repair, 80,000 Gazans still don’t have homes, and $62 million worth of UN construction projects are still awaiting Israeli approval.


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