UN / PALESTINE

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20-May-2020 00:03:00
“The continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told Security Council, adding that “the fate of the Palestinian and Israeli people must not be determined by destructive unilateral actions that cement divisions and may put peace beyond reach in our lifetime.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PALESTINE
TRT: 3:00
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 20 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

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1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

20 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“Despite growing political tensions, Palestinian and Israeli authorities have continued their notable coordination around efforts to limit the spread of the virus and are taking careful steps to reopen their economies and lift virus-related restrictions. Relatively successful prevention efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have thus far ensured that the limited capacity of the health system has not been overwhelmed. However, there remain considerable concerns regarding the ability of the Palestinian health sector to cope with a potential surge in cases. This is particularly valid in Gaza.”
4. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“As elsewhere around the world, the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on Palestinians have been immense. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lost their jobs, small and medium enterprises are unable to operate, children cannot attend school in person, and violence against women and children has increased. As always, the most vulnerable are at the greatest risk of suffering. Recent gains in Gaza on water, sanitation, electricity, and livelihoods are at extreme risk of being fully reversed.”
6. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“The continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-State solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security.”
8. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“In the reporting period OCHA recorded 20 incidents in which Israeli settlers injured Palestinians or reportedly damaged their property, with a high concentration of incidents in the areas of Nablus and Ramallah Governorates. In the same period, there were reports of 23 incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing in which Palestinians injured Israeli civilians in the West Bank or reportedly damaged their property.”
10. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“I firmly believe that time has come all sides must do their part now, in the coming weeks and months in order to preserve the prospect of a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict, in line with internationally agreed parameters, international law and UN resolutions. These efforts must begin immediately, there is no time to lose. The fate of the Palestinian and Israeli people must not be determined by destructive unilateral actions that cement divisions and may put peace beyond reach in our lifetime.”
12. Screenshot, Security Council members in virtual meeting

STORYLINE:

Briefing Security Council on Wednesday (20 May) UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, said the situation on the ground continues to be dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite growing political tensions, Palestinian and Israeli authorities have continued their notable coordination around efforts to limit the spread of the virus and are taking careful steps to reopen their economies and lift virus-related restrictions,” said Mladenov, adding that “relatively successful prevention efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have thus far ensured that the limited capacity of the health system has not been overwhelmed.”

However, according to Mladenov, there remain “considerable concerns” regarding the ability of the Palestinian health sector to cope with a potential surge in cases. This is particularly troubling in Gaza, due to continuing shortages of critical supplies including testing materials, personal protective equipment, ventilators and essential Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment, because of funding gaps and a shortage in global supply.

On the security plane, Mladenov said “the continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-State solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security.”

He called upon Israel to abandon threats of annexations and also invited the members of the Council to join the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his call against unilateral steps that will hinder current diplomatic efforts to create the conditions for bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the table.

Overall, Mladenov noted, clashes between the Israeli Security Forces and Palestinians continued. During the reporting period, in the West Bank, two Palestinians, including a teenager, and an Israel soldier were killed. Sixty-five Palestinians, including six children, and two Israelis, one child and one soldier, were injured in various incidents.

He said “In the reporting period OCHA recorded 20 incidents in which Israeli settlers injured Palestinians or reportedly damaged their property, with a high concentration of incidents in the areas of Nablus and Ramallah Governorates. In the same period, there were reports of 23 incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing in which Palestinians injured Israeli civilians in the West Bank or reportedly damaged their property.”

Special Coordinator finished his briefing by calling on all sides to “do their part now, in the coming weeks and months in order to preserve the prospect of a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict, in line with internationally agreed parameters, international law and UN resolutions.”

“There is no time to lose," said Mladenov. “The fate of the Palestinian and Israeli people must not be determined by destructive unilateral actions that cement divisions and may put peace beyond reach in our lifetime.”
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