Seize the opportunities of the Gaza ceasefire: UNRWA chiefListen /
The top official at the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees has called on the international community and the parties to the Israel-Palestine conflict to “seize the opportunity” provided by the Gaza ceasefire.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi called last week's conflict a “tragic escalation” and urged all to “address the real problems underlying the crisis.”
Speaking to the UN Relief and Works Agency -UNRWA's Advisory Commission, Grandi called for “the illegal Israeli blockade to be lifted in all its aspects – crossings, fishing zones, imports, exports – with proper guarantees given to and by all parties in respect of the security of all civilians.”
Grandi recognised that to address root causes, “difficult political work would have to be carried out, including promoting and supporting lasting Palestinian unity".
And he warns that "failing to act now will have dire consequences".
He says "the greatest danger is to return to the status quo ante, and restore the prison-like conditions of Gaza", adding that "if this happened, it would be only a matter of time till violence resumed.”
He added that the crisis in Gaza was “about the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a broader sense, with all its elements, including the situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
Donn Bobb, United Nations