Palestine question "cannot be relegated to a secondary problem:" UN official

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On large screen: Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefs the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The international focus on the question of Palestine may have been overtaken by the tragedy in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, but it cannot be relegated to a secondary problem.

That's what the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told members of the Security Council on Wednesday.

Israel continues to build on Palestinian territories despite being banned from doing so by a UN resolution dating back to 1979.

Meanwhile, militants in Gaza carry out frequent incursions into Israel as well as build up on illicit arms.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian opened fire, killing two Israelis and injuring six others in a terror attack in occupied East Jerusalem. 

And in separate incidents, a young Palestinian civilian died after being shot by Israeli security forces during clashes in East Jerusalem, while elsewhere an unarmed 12-year-old girl was shot in the legs by security guards while approaching a checkpoint. 

Nickolay Mladenov shared these tragic incidents with Security Council members to highlight the deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine. 

The absence of progress in resolving the conflict has led to growing anger and frustration among Palestinians and profound disillusionment among Israelis, he said. 

"Sadly, settlement announcements, outbreaks of violence and terror, and the absence of visionary leadership continue to define the conflict. The inability to see beyond the horizon and grasp the benefits of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, of ending the occupation, of establishing a two-state solution that meets the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians alike, is a historic loss to the region as a whole." 

Noting that the significant "slow down" in the reconstruction process in Gaza, and that people continue to suffer through conflicts and closures, Mladenov warned that the "temperature in Gaza is rising". 

The international community should avoid the risk of sleep-walking into another violent conflict, he urged, adding that moderate forces in the Middle East region needed to unite to stand up to radicalisation. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’34″

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