UN / PALESTINE

20-Feb-2019 00:03:43
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said extremists were “on the rise again and the risk of war continues to loom large” adding that for Israelis and Palestinians to get back on track for a peaceful resolution of the conflict “the first thing that is required is leadership.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / PALESTINE
TRT: 3:43
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 FEBRUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

20 FEBRUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“Extremists are on the rise again and the risk of war continues to loom large. For Israelis and Palestinians to get back on track for a peaceful resolution of the conflict the first thing that is required is leadership. Leadership that believes peace is possible through negotiations. Leadership and an international community that is committed to supporting both parties to reach agreement on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements. An international community that understands that the weaker party - the Palestinian people who have lived under occupation for more than fifty years - need our support more than ever. It should never be about Israel or Palestine. It should always be about Israel and Palestine.”
4. Wide shot, Palestinian ambassador
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“These are very serious developments that put at risk the financial stability of the Palestinian Authority and ultimately the security of both Israelis and Palestinians. The Secretary-General has repeatedly warned that unilateral moves undermine the chances for peace.”
6. Wide shot, ambassadors
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“Hamas’ continuing control of Gaza, Israel’s severe movement and access restrictions, and the Palestinian Authority’s restrictive measures are pushing the situation to a breaking point. The militant build-up continues as the risk of ever more radical and extremist groups pushing both sides into war grows by the day. With the prospects of intra-Palestinian reconciliation dimming, the people of Gaza feel more and more left to their own devices with no representation, no relief, and no way out.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“At its core, the situation remains a protection crisis. Violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are a key driver of high levels of acute vulnerability among Palestinians. The international community is mobilizing to provide assistance, but funding is diminishing while needs and constraints continue to grow. Ultimately, the solution is not humanitarian.”
10. Wide shot, Palestinian ambassador and Arab League ambassador at stakeout
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations:
“What is the advantage to the Palestinian people and their friends to start walking away from this global consensus and entertain new ideas; and to begin the process of building something different than the thing that we invested, we and the international community; tens of years until we reached that moment.”
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations:
“It is true that the Warsaw conference was attended by a number of countries. Some countries attended at a certain level, others attended at a different level. Some tried cast a shade of normalization or trying to show some sitting next to others or some talking to others, to try to create a picture that there is normalization going on in secret. However, this is, in our view from the Arab League and the resolutions and decisions taken at the summit and ministerial levels at the Arab League, is inconsistent with the official Arab stance. The official Arab stance is to hold on to the guiding principles to the peace process.”
13. Wide shot, Palestinian ambassador and Arab League ambassador leaving stakeout
STORYLINE
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said extremists were “on the rise again and the risk of war continues to loom large” adding that for Israelis and Palestinians to get back on track for a peaceful resolution of the conflict “the first thing that is required is leadership.”

Addressing the Security Council today (20 Feb) via teleconference from Jerusalem, Mladenov said resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict required leadership that believes “peace is possible through negotiations” and international community that “understands that the weaker party - the Palestinian people who have lived under occupation for more than fifty years - need our support more than ever.” He added, “It should never be about Israel or Palestine. It should always be about Israel and Palestine.”

The Special Coordinator said unilateral measures, continuing violence, financial pressures, and the lack of progress towards peace are exacting a heavy toll on Palestinian society and undermining the foundations of peace. He said the Palestinian Authority had a budget deficit of some USD 1.04 billion in 2018, and yet earlier this week the Israeli Government decided unilaterally to withhold some USD 140 million in Palestinian tax revenue transfers.

SOUNDBITE (English) Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations:
“These are very serious developments that put at risk the financial stability of the Palestinian Authority and ultimately the security of both Israelis and Palestinians. The Secretary-General has repeatedly warned that unilateral moves undermine the chances for peace.”

Mladenov also noted that recent Palestinian political moves may further widen the growing divide between the West Bank and Gaza. He said the Fatah Central Committee recommended the formation of a new government comprising PLO factions and independent figures, while Hamas and the other factions have called, instead, for the formation of a government of national unity with the task of organizing legislative, presidential and Palestinian National Council elections. He underscored that elections conducted in line with Palestinian laws and with established international democratic standards throughout the occupied Palestinian territory may be the only way out of the current internal political impasse.

The Special Coordinator stressed that Hamas’ continuing control of Gaza, Israel’s severe movement and access restrictions, and the Palestinian Authority’s restrictive measures are pushing the situation in Gaza “to a breaking point.” He added, “the militant build-up continues as the risk of ever more radical and extremist groups pushing both sides into war grows by the day. With the prospects of intra-Palestinian reconciliation dimming, the people of Gaza feel more and more left to their own devices with no representation, no relief, and no way out.”

Mladenov underscored that the UN and its partners, have provided a series of recommendations that, if implemented effectively, would begin to establish an environment conducive to a return to negotiations. He advocated for a strengthened commitment to bilateral agreements adding that the UN was implementing a series of humanitarian interventions aiming to stabilize Gaza, support Palestinian reconciliation and ultimately lift the closures.

UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory at its core “remains a protection crisis.” She said, “Violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are a key driver of high levels of acute vulnerability among Palestinians. The international community is mobilizing to provide assistance, but funding is diminishing while needs and constraints continue to grow. Ultimately, the solution is not humanitarian.”

Mueller told the Council that overall, the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, has deteriorated in 2018. This included an increase in casualties associated with the demonstrations at the Gaza fence, limitations on the movement of people and goods and financial restrictions.

Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters outside the Council that his country would continue pushing for a two-state solution, adding that there was almost full international consensus on this solution. He asked what “is the advantage to the Palestinian people and their friends to start walking away from this global consensus and entertain new ideas; and to begin the process of building something different than the thing that we invested, we and the international community; tens of years until we reached that moment.”

Mansour said that Palestine could become a full Member of the UN even before the occupation ended if the veto by the United States was removed adding that Palestine had the backing of the majority of the international community for its bid.

Asked about the presence of some Arab nations along side Israel in the Warsaw Conference and whether this was seen as a move away from the Arab Peace Initiative which calls for normalizing ties with Israel only after a peace deal is reached, Arab League ambassador Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz said, “It is true that the Warsaw conference was attended by a number of countries. Some countries attended at a certain level, others attended at a different level. Some tried cast a shade of normalization or trying to show some sitting next to others or some talking to others, to try to create a picture that there is normalization going on in secret. However, this is, in our view from the Arab League and the resolutions and decisions taken at the summit and ministerial levels at the Arab League, is inconsistent with the official Arab stance. The official Arab stance is to hold on to the guiding principles to the peace process.”
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