The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, warns the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “reaching a boiling point.”
“The high level of violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel in recent months including attacks against Israeli and Palestinian civilians,” Wennesland says, “have caused grave human suffering.”
“The targeting of civilians can never be justified and the violence must stop,” Wennesland says at a Security Council briefing, calling for a return to a political process for a resolution to the conflict.
He condemns the recent terror attacks in Jerusalem and Ariel, as well as settler violence against Palestinians in Hebron.
He warns that “demography is moving faster than politics,” and that the rapid population growth in Gaza and the West Bank will make it “increasingly difficult” to manage the conflict.
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, condemns the terror attacks against Israelis and settler violence.
The US “is deeply concerned about the sharp escalation,” Thomas-Greenfield says. “This has been the deadliest year in the West Bank since 2004.”
She condemns the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and the “disruption to the historic status quo of holy sites.”
Thomas-Greenfield blasts the UN for its “lopsided focus” on Israel, including the open-ended Commission of Inquiry and the request for the International Court of Justice to weigh in on the conflict.
“The UN system is replete with anti-Israel actions and bodies,” she says. “Instead of grandstanding and pursuing unproductive measures, we hope the UN will start focusing on concrete steps that improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.”