"Heightened emotions" after UN vote on Israeli settlements

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UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Marco Castro

Emotions on the ground have been heightened following a UN vote calling on Israel to "cease all settlement activity" in the occupied Palestinian territories.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov made the remarks in his first briefing to the Security Council in 2017.

Adopted on 23 December, the Council resolution also called for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror.

Priyanka Shankar reports.

The construction and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as ongoing acts of violence and terrorism have hampered negotiations for a two-state solution.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, was speaking via video teleconference from Jerusalem to members of the Security Council.

Recalling a recent terrorist attack that killed four Israelis and injured 17 more in the city, Mr Mladenov described it as an "act of cowardice" and deplored that some Palestinian factions and leaders praised and glorified it while others remained silent.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility to reduce tensions and provide a political horizon for their people, he said.

"In the aftermath of the vote, emotions on the ground have been heightened. Calls have been made for the annexation of parts or the whole of Area C. Such divisive positions risk destroying the prospects for peace. All stakeholders must avoid any unilateral action that would prejudge a negotiated final status solution."

The global community has a responsibility to prevent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from being engulfed in the middle of violent extremism and religious turmoil that is sweeping across the Middle East, Mr Mladenov said.

Priyanka Shankar, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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