"Palpable" risk of escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine

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Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefs the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The risk of escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine is palpable, according to a top United Nations political official.

Jeffrey Feltman was briefing the UN Security Council on Wednesday on the situation in the Middle East.

He said the past month has witnessed what he called "unconscionable crimes of hatred" by extremist elements.

Stephanie Coutrix has the story.

Reprehensible retaliatory violence, provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites, and a worrying increase in rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel.

Those are some of the events the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs said were recently witnessed in the Middle East.

The coming days will mark the one-year anniversary of the conclusion of last year’s Gaza conflict, during which nearly two thousand people died.

Jeffrey Feltman said one year on, the continued suffering of Palestinians in Gaza highlights the inadequacy of the global community's collective response.

"I begin my briefing to you today with an appeal to political, military, community and religious leaders on all sides to work together to reduce tensions, reject violence and prevent extremists from escalating the situation and hijacking the political agenda."

Mr Feltman added that violent incidents are the inevitable product of the failure to make the tough choices necessary to resolve the conflict.

He said it is time to reverse what he called the "perilous tide" that the world is now facing and restore, to Israelis and Palestinians alike, the hope that is in danger of being stifled by those promoting hate.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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