New UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov blames Israel, but not Palestinians, as he urges a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it causes instability in the region.
By Lauren Calin, World Israel News
The recently appointed UN Middle East envoy will meet with the new Israeli government to discuss ways to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which collapsed after the Palestinian Authority (PA) formed a unity government with Hamas. In his speech to the UN Security Council, Nikolay Mladenov expressed a sense of urgency in resolving the conflict.
Mladenov linked the violence in the region to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Middle East is experiencing “a vicious tide of terror and extremism,” he said, adding that failure to resolve the conflict “has fueled a situation that is becoming more dangerous by the day.”
“This hard-earned belief in peace and negotiations must not be allowed to wither away,” he stated. “If it does, it can further destabilize the Middle East for decades.”
The envoy condemned Israel for building over the Green Line, including in Jerusalem, encouraging the Security Council to have “no illusions about the impact of these unilateral actions.” He blamed the expansion of Jewish communities for Palestinian attacks on Israeli security forces, while making no mention of unilateral PA steps at the UN Security Council or Palestinian incitement to terror.
Mladenov also expressed “shock” at the situation in Gaza, which he attributed to a combination of the Israeli security blockade, Egypt’s closing the Rafah Crossing, Hamas’s imposition of a “solidarity tax” on Gaza residents, and the failure of international donors to honor their financial commitments for reconstruction. He did not note the role of Palestinian infighting and Hamas’s theft of building materials in hampering Gaza reconstruction.
“The United Nations has repeatedly warned that maintaining the status quo is not tenable,” Mladenov concluded. “It will inexorably lead to the continued erosion of living conditions for Palestinians and Israelis alike, and will undermine the security and stability for all.”
The UN Security Council may attempt to impose a framework solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the coming months. France has said that it is working on a draft resolution, although no text has yet been put forward. New Zealand, a temporary member of the Security Council, has indicated that it will present its own proposal if the French resolution does not produce results.