UN / PALESTINE

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25-Aug-2022 00:03:39
The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, told the Security Council that the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza remains in effect and “a fragile calm has been restored” in the territory. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PALESTINE
TRT: 3:39
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 AUGUST 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

25 AUGUST 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“I am pleased to update the Council that the ceasefire remains in effect, and a fragile calm has been restored in Gaza. The Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings have remained open since 8 August, allowing for the entry of essential goods and materials. The UN is working with partners to ensure the delivery of urgent assistance to those who need it most.”
4. Close up, Security Council president
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“The ceasefire prevented the situation from escalating into a full-scale war, which would have had devastating consequences. It also allowed for the resumption of the measures implemented over the past year that have resulted in much needed economic relief to the people in Gaza. But a ceasefire is limited to ending immediate hostilities. The underlying drivers of the conflict are still unresolved.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“Violence has increased across much of the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlement activity continues, along with demolitions and evictions. Fiscal and political challenges threaten the Palestinian Authority’s effectiveness in delivering essential public services. The West Bank and Gaza remain politically divided. Palestinians in Gaza face the challenge of economic and movement restrictions linked with the Israeli closure regime, the nature of Hamas rule and the ever-present threat of violence.”
8. Close up, Security Council president
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“Given what I regularly report to this Council, the status quo is not a strategy nor a strategic option – not for positive change on the ground nor for a restart of talks between the two sides. I urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, regional countries and the broader international community to take firm action to enable a return to meaningful negotiations.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
“Over 80 percent of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza live below the poverty line. In Gaza, escalation of violence was a stark reminder that more and violence can erupt anytime, in the absence of general and comprehensive effort to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. 60 Palestinian refugee families lost their homes, 17 children were killed, eight were students in UNRWA schools.”
12. Close up, Security Council president
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Levy, President of the U.S./Middle East Project:
“The events of earlier this month covered in detail by special Envoy Wennesland are as concerning as they are predictable. To be very clear, Israelis deserve security, Palestinians deserve security.”
15. Wide shot, Security Council
16. Zoom in, Riyad Mansour in the Security Council Stakeout
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Palestine:
“We are open to ideas to save the two-state solution. The emphasis here is saving the two-state solution. It is not enough to keep repeating that we stand for the two-state solution, tell us how you can save it, because the Israeli occupying authority is destroying it before our eyes.”
18. Zoom out, Security Council Stakeout

STORYLINE:

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, told the Security Council that the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza remains in effect and “a fragile calm has been restored” in the territory.

Addressing the Council on Thursday (25 Aug), Wennesland said that the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings have remained open since 8 August, allowing for the entry of essential goods and materials.

The Special Coordinator said the ceasefire “prevented the situation from escalating into a full-scale war, which would have had devastating consequences.”

According to Wennesland, the truce also allowed for the resumption of the measures implemented over the past year that have resulted in much needed economic relief to the people in Gaza.

“But a ceasefire is limited to ending immediate hostilities. The underlying drivers of the conflict are still unresolved”, the Special Coordinator added.

In the meantime, Wennesland said, violence has increased across much of the occupied West Bank, on top of Israeli settlement activity, fiscal and political challenges to the Palestinian Authority, political division in the West Bank and Gaza, economic and movement restrictions for Palestinians in Gaza, the nature of Hamas rule and the ever-present threat of violence.

Given these challenges, the Special Coordinator said that “the status quo is not a strategy nor a strategic option – not for positive change on the ground nor for a restart of talks between the two sides.”

“I urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, regional countries and the broader international community to take firm action to enable a return to meaningful negotiations”, Wennesland concluded.

The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, also briefed the Council, informing that over 80 percent of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza live below the poverty line.

In Gaza, Lazzarini said, “escalation of violence was a stark reminder that more and violence can erupt anytime, in the absence of general and comprehensive effort to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict.”

During the crisis earlier in the month, 60 Palestinian refugee families lost their homes, 17 children were killed, eight were students in UNRWA schools.

Daniel Levy, President of the U.S./Middle East Project, told Council Members that these events “are as concerning as they are predictable.”

“To be very clear, Israelis deserve security, Palestinians deserve security”, Levy added.

Speaking to journalists at the Security Council stakeout at the end of the session, the Permanent Observer to the United Nations from Palestine, Riyad Mansour, said they are “open to ideas to save the two-state solution.”

For Mansour, “the emphasis here is saving the two-state solution” and “it is not enough to keep repeating that we stand for the two-state solution.”

The Permanent Representative added, “tell us how you can save it, because the Israeli occupying authority is destroying it before our eyes.”
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