News in Brief 26 May 2017 – (PM)

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Nickolay Mladenov (shown on screen) briefs the Security Council via video teleconference from Jerusalem. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Dynamics in Middle East creating explosive environment: Mladenov

The complex dynamics on the ground in the Middle East region are creating an explosive environment.

That's what Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council on Friday.

Speaking via video-teleconference from Jerusalem, he warned that the global community was "walking into another crisis in Gaza with its eyes wide open."

For months, Mr. Mladenov said, the UN has been urging leaders to fix the Gaza electricity problem or face a humanitarian crisis.

"Since April, the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are receiving about four hours of electricity a day. How long do you think they will survive if this is further reduced to two hours of electricity a day? Who will pay the price of the ensuing violence and escalation? It will not be those who live a life of exemption and privilege. The price will be paid by poor Palestinians, women, children, and people already traumatized by conflict, who have been held hostage for a decade now."

The Special Coordinator said he was also concerned by the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners protesting against their conditions in Israeli jails, which, on the eve of Ramadan, has now entered its 40th day.

"Mass exodus" of civilians from Mosul's Old City area expected

Aid agencies are preparing for an "imminent mass exodus of civilians" from Mosul's Old City area in Iraq, the UN migration agency, IOM, said on Friday.

The Old City and next-door neighbourhoods remain under the control of Da'esh.

IOM said that humanitarian agencies are deeply concerned for the safety of some 200,000 civilians thought to still be living in the area.

The Iraqi authorities have been asking civilians to leave the area and seek safety across government lines.

More than 742,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and its surrounding areas since 2016, when the military offense to oust extremists began last October.

Over 60,000 migrants and refugees reach Europe by sea in 2017

IOM also reports that more than 60,000 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea this year.

Over 80 per cent of them arrived in Italy, the agency says. The remainder arrived in Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

The new figures do not include some 6,000 people who have been rescued over the past 72 hours.

Meanwhile, 1,530 migrants and refugees have died in 2017 on the Mediterranean route, a figure that roughly matches that of last year for the same period.

However, IOM warns that the deadliest season is about to start.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’41″

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