UN / PALESTINE

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30-Aug-2021 00:03:49
"I am concerned by the continued tragic loss of life and serious injuries in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the Security Council on Monday, calling on Israel to “fulfills its obligation to protect Palestinian civilians from violence, including by Israeli settlers.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PALESTINE
TRT: 3:49
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 30 AUGUST 2021, NEW YORK CITY

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1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters on East River

30 AUGUST 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council in meeting, with Wennesland on screen
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
"I am concerned by the continued tragic loss of life and serious injuries in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. I note that settler violence against Palestinian civilians is recurrent in my reporting to this Council. Further measures must be taken to ensure that Israel fulfills its obligation to protect Palestinian civilians from violence, including by Israeli settlers, and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for such attacks. I reiterate that security forces must xercise maximum restraint and use lethal force only when it is strictly unavoidable in order to protect life."
4. Wide shot, Security Council in meeting, with Wennesland on screen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
"On 17 August a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was attacked in the northern West Bank, during which a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped the boy, tied him to a tree, and brutally assaulted, cut and burned him. The boy, who lost consciousness, was eventually handed over to a Palestinian ambulance. I am deeply concerned by this heinous act and I expect the Israeli authorities to undertake a swift, thorough and transparent investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable."
6. Cutaway, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
"I call on Israel to take all necessary measures to protect the right to freedom of association and ensure that human rights organizations in the OPT are protected from arbitrary actions. I also urge the Palestinian Authority to immediately stop arrests of human rights defenders, journalists and activists on charges that impinge upon the exercise of freedom of expression."
8. Cutaway, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
"I remain extremely concerned by the dire financial situation facing the Palestinian Authority and its ability to withstand the ongoing fiscal and health crises. This will impact all Palestinians. It is critical that the PA be empowered to exercise its responsibilities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including on reconstruction in the Gaza Strip."
10. Cutaway, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India:
"I reaffirm India's call for regular and predictable transfer of aid and other essential items to Gaza to ease the humanitarian situation, and facilitate early reconstruction, as well as for appropriate use of such aid. It is also important that the international community - international donor community supports the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip through the Palestinian Authority."
10. Cutaway, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Mills, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations:
"Following the U.S. announcement of another USD 136 million in humanitarian assistance to UNRWA’s operations in the region last month, the United States again urges other Member States to make financial commitments, as well. As we saw with the recent return of 290,000 students to UNRWA schools in Gaza, UNRWA services are a lifeline to many Palestinian refugees."
12. Wide shot, Security Council in meeting, with Wennesland on screen

STORYLINE:

"I am concerned by the continued tragic loss of life and serious injuries in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the Security Council on Monday, calling on Israel to “fulfills its obligation to protect Palestinian civilians from violence, including by Israeli settlers.”

Briefing the Council members via videolink from Jerusalem, Wennesland noted recurrent “settler violence against Palestinian civilians” and said “further measures must be taken to ensure that Israel fulfills its obligation to protect Palestinian civilians from violence, including by Israeli settlers, and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for such attacks. I reiterate that security forces must exercise maximum restraint and use lethal force only when it is strictly unavoidable in order to protect life."

Among other incidents, the Special Coordinator, described how on 17 August a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was attacked in the northern West Bank, during which “a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped the boy, tied him to a tree, and brutally assaulted, cut and burned him.”

The boy, who lost consciousness, was eventually handed over to a Palestinian ambulance, reported Wennesland.

“I am deeply concerned by this heinous act and I expect the Israeli authorities to undertake a swift, thorough and transparent investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable," Wennesland said.

In his speech, he called on Israel “to take all necessary measures to protect the right to freedom of association and ensure that human rights organizations in the OPT are protected from arbitrary actions.,” and also urged the Palestinian Authority “to immediately stop arrests of human rights defenders, journalists and activists on charges that impinge upon the exercise of freedom of expression."

Welcoming Qatar’s announcement of a contribution of USD 40 million over four months to the United Nations to provide cash assistance to some 100,0000 needy families in Gaza, the Special Coordinator said he remains "extremely concerned by the dire financial situation facing the Palestinian Authority and its ability to withstand the ongoing fiscal and health crises.”

“This will impact all Palestinians,” he said. “It is critical that the PA be empowered to exercise its responsibilities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including on reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.”

Chairing the meeting of the Security Council on the Middle East, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan reaffirmed India's call “for regular and predictable transfer of aid and other essential items to Gaza to ease the humanitarian situation, and facilitate early reconstruction, as well as for appropriate use of such aid.

The Foreign Secretary also said “it is also important that the international community - international donor community supports the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip through the Palestinian Authority."

"Following the U.S. announcement of another USD 136 million in humanitarian assistance to UNRWA’s operations in the region last month,” Richard Mills, the U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations said “the United States again urges other Member States to make financial commitments, as well. As we saw with the recent return of 290,000 students to UNRWA schools in Gaza, UNRWA services are a lifeline to many Palestinian refugees."
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