UN / ISRAEL PALESTINE

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22-Apr-2021 00:03:54
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said the successful completion of inclusive Palestinian elections is a “critical step toward renewing democratic legitimacy of the Palestinian Government,” adding that the path forward “will not be easy and will require political courage from all sides.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / ISRAEL PALESTINE
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN flag outside headquarters with cars passing

22 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“Since the beginning of Ramadan, there have been repeated clashes between Palestinians and ISF and Israeli civilians in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, leading to injuries and arrests. I call on all sides to take steps to de-escalate tensions and maintain calm.”
4. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“The successful completion of inclusive Palestinian elections is a critical step toward renewing democratic legitimacy of the Palestinian Government. These elections should also pave the way to uniting Gaza and the West Bank under a single, legitimate national authority, which would be an important step towards reconciliation and could advance Middle East peace. The path forward will not be easy and will require political courage from all sides.”
6. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations:
“We have reached the moment of truth. The ability of Palestinians to campaign, run for elections, and vote throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem, is enshrined in international law and in previous agreements.”
8. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations:
“The map that Israel is drawing with its bulldozers, cranes, and military might is one of perpetual conflict and apartheid. We have a collective map for peace. It should not be relegated to drawers or on walls or in presentation. It has to find its way to our reality, and now.”
10. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israeli to the United Nations:
“It is clear to everyone that the capabilities and knowledge that Iran is developing right now are irreversible and no agreement can roll that back. The fact that world leaders state they are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may be encouraging, but it simply isn't enough. Iran continues to impose an unacceptable threat to Israel and the countries of the region. The international community also wanted to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. The lessons from then need to be learned.”
12. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israeli to the United Nations:
“We will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threats against the existence of the state of Israel. And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”
14. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israeli to the United Nations:
“Hamas, the anti-Semitic, genocidal terrorist group, calls for the destruction of the Jewish State and for the murder of Israelis. The fact that Hamas is being allowed to run in the upcoming elections and is predicted to increase its power should be worrying for this body. It should be worrying for everyone. Terrorists who deny Israel's right to exist are being allowed to participate in the elections.”
16. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council virtual meeting

STORYLINE:

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said the successful completion of inclusive Palestinian elections is a “critical step toward renewing democratic legitimacy of the Palestinian Government,” adding that the path forward “will not be easy and will require political courage from all sides.”

Speaking today (22 Apr) at a virtual Security Council meeting Wennesland said Palestinian Legislative Council elections scheduled for 22 May should “also pave the way to uniting Gaza and the West Bank under a single, legitimate national authority, which would be an important step towards reconciliation and could advance Middle East peace.” The

The Special Coordinator said all sides must work towards protecting the right of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza to participate in credible and inclusive Palestinian elections,

Wennesland reiterated his call upon Israel to cease the practice of demolition and seizure of Palestinian property throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law, and to allow Palestinians to develop their communities. He said daily violence also continued throughout the occupied territory.

He said, “Since the beginning of Ramadan, there have been repeated clashes between Palestinians and ISF and Israeli civilians in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, leading to injuries and arrests. I call on all sides to take steps to de-escalate tensions and maintain calm.”

Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour said people overwhelmingly registered to vote in the upcoming elections and stressed that the people should free to participate in elections without foreign interference. He urged the Security Council's help in preventing any Israeli actions that might obstruct the elections, especially in occupied east Jerusalem. He noted that, in the past several days, Israeli had arrested several candidates and disbanded meetings of parties and civil society, adding that such unlawful actions must stop at once.

Mansour said, “We have reached the moment of truth. The ability of Palestinians to campaign, run for elections, and vote throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem, is enshrined in international law and in previous agreements.”
Mansour underscored that Palestinian suffering as a result of COVID-19 would have been alleviated if Israel, the occupying power, upheld its obligations. He said, despite having the means to vaccinate the occupied population, Israel decided to vaccinate only those Palestinians who are in direct contact with Israelis.

The Palestinian ambassador reiterated calls for an international peace conference and stressed the need to end impunity, which he said was the only explanation for the persistence of Israeli violations of Palestinian rights despite repeated condemnations including by the Security Council.

Mansour said, “The map that Israel is drawing with its bulldozers, cranes, and military might is one of perpetual conflict and apartheid. We have a collective map for peace. It should not be relegated to drawers or on walls or in presentation. It has to find its way to our reality, and now.”

Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan said Iran's relentless attempts to acquire nuclear capabilities and its support to its proxies, who are destabilizing the region, remain the largest threat to peace and security in the Middle East.

Erdan stressed that there was no need for Iran to enrich uranium to 60 per cent if it is intended for civilian purposes adding that the country's nuclear ambitions are blatantly military.

The Israeli ambassador said, “It is clear to everyone that the capabilities and knowledge that Iran is developing right now are irreversible and no agreement can roll that back. The fact that world leaders state they are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may be encouraging, but it simply isn't enough. Iran continues to impose an unacceptable threat to Israel and the countries of the region. The international community also wanted to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. The lessons from then need to be learned.”

Erdan noted that in a recent military exercise, Iran displayed the capabilities of multiple surface-to-surface ballistic missiles some of which have the ability to deliver nuclear warheads. He said attempts by members of the international community to reengage with Iran in an effort to rejoin the JCPOA are a serious mistake. He said re-joining the JCPOA would take the leverage from the international community and put Iran in a position not to cooperate on proposals for a better deal.

The Israeli ambassador said, “We will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threats against the existence of the state of Israel. And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”

Turning to Palestinian elections, Erdan asked how the Security Council would continue to deal with the Palestinian Authority (PA) if Hamas increases its power and becomes an official part of the PA.

He said, “Hamas, the anti-Semitic, genocidal terrorist group, calls for the destruction of the Jewish State and for the murder of Israelis. The fact that Hamas is being allowed to run in the upcoming elections and is predicted to increase its power should be worrying for this body. It should be worrying for everyone. Terrorists who deny Israel's right to exist are being allowed to participate in the elections.”

The Israeli ambassador said the Abraham accords showed that peace can only be achieved in the region through dialogue and acceptance, not through threats and terrorism.
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