A new UN report calls for the Palestinian unity government to assume control of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the fighting in the coastal region over the summer.
“Reconstruction, recovery, governance and security in the Gaza Strip must take place in the context of the return of one legitimate Palestinian Authority to the Strip,” reads the report from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the body coordinating development assistance to the Palestinians.
The AHLC will meet in New York on September 22 in a meeting hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“The formation of the GNC [Government of National Consensus] under President Abbas and in accordance with the PLO principles was welcomed by the international community,” says the report. “The UN has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the PLO commitments and the positions of the Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
The report also urged Israel to allow the development of Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control.
Regarding the fighting in Gaza, the report denied that there was any evidence that cement intended for UN projects was diverted toward Hamas’s tunnel building effort. Still, it said, “the effort and resources devoted by Hamas to construct this network in order to launch attacks against Israel is unacceptable.”
The 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led terrorists ended on August 26 after killing more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Gaza-based medical sources.
Israel has said that as many as 1,000 killed were fighters and contends that Hamas is largely responsible for civilian casualties due to its tactics of firing from populated areas and using human shields.
Seventy-two Israelis were killed, 66 of them soldiers, as Hamas fired some 4,600 rockets and other projectiles at Israel and carried out several attacks through cross-border tunnels.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.