Can an Animal Heist Fable Help Solve the Middle East Crisis?
As a result, according to UNRWA, 31 Palestine refugees, including 16 children, were made homeless in a community that has endured several rounds of demolitions and often faced harassment from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Karmel.
Already this year, over 700 Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli demolitions in the West Bank. This figure is approaching the total number of displaced for all of 2015, said Lance Bartholomeusz, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, who stated that he was “appalled” by the “unjustifiable” demolitions, which are in violation of international law.
“As the UN has said repeatedly, these demolitions must stop,” said UNRWA.
Regarding the Palestinian side, the new UNSCO report notes that despite continuing reconciliation discussions held in February and March between Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Qatar, no consensus has been reached on achieving genuine Palestinian unity.
“The formation of a national unity government and the holding of elections are vital to laying the foundations of a future Palestinian state,” the report adds.
Degenerated Human Rights Situation
Citing a protracted humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, the report says that “some 1.1 million people in the West Bank and some 1.3 million in Gaza, over 900,000 of them refugees, need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2016.”
The report stresses that the human rights situation degenerated with the dramatic rise in clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli Security Forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, increased instances of punitive measures against families of alleged perpetrators of attacks, and administrative detentions.
The new UN report will be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) at its bi-annual meeting in Brussels on 19 April. The Committee, chaired by Norway and co-sponsored by the European Union and the United States, serves as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Merely three weeks ago, the UN envoy for the peace process in the Middle East warned the Security Council that the prospects for an independent Palestinian state are disappearing, and questioned the political will of the Israeli and Palestinian actors to address the main challenges blocking peace efforts.
“The time has come to ring the alarm bells that the two-state solution is slipping from our fingers,” on 24 March saidNickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, pointing to ongoing Israeli settlement activities and confiscation of Palestinian land, as well as the continued lack of genuine Palestinian unity.