UN envoy warns Israeli annexation may fuel Palestinian extremism

The UN’s Middle East envoy warns Israel’s aim to annex parts of the West Bank may fuel extremism and ignite a regional conflict.

Such a move could do irrevocable damage to Israeli-Palestinian relations, and also turn Palestinians towards extremism, according to UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov at a press conference at the (UNSCO) offices in Gaza City, September 25, 2017. (Adel Hana/AP)

If Palestinians “feel that there is no prospect of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, that only creates opportunities for radicals,” he tells journalists in Jerusalem.

Mladenov points to a “long litany of such developments” in the Middle East, referring to the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. “You leave a vacuum, you take away a political prospect, you take away a positive agenda, and very quickly somebody comes and fills it with a negative and very destructive agenda,” he says.

While countries are yet to announce retaliatory measures, Mladenov warns Israeli annexation could spark a regional conflict.

“Nobody wants another war, another flare-up of violence in the Middle East, and certainly not one that has such a potential to ignite conflict way beyond its borders,” he says.


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