The Palestinian people face a future of “fear, harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention, injury and death” if the status quo is maintained and prospects for a two-state solution are not revived, Ramallah’s UN envoy warned Tuesday.
Peace talks aimed at brokering a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been stalled for years, and Riyad Mansour told the Security Council that in the interim there has been a “persistent lack of accountability” for Israeli actions, which, he said, the Council has failed to address.
He pointed in particular to Israel’s 2021 war on the besieged Gaza Strip, the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the forced displacement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“We have every right to be a member of these United Nations. Nothing justifies delaying this prospect. We have every right to freedom and independence. Our right to self-determination, sovereignty and territorial integrity is enshrined in the UN Charter,” said Mansour, adding that it is the Council’s responsibility “to ensure we embark on that path.”
“The fate of an entire nation cannot be held hostage by Israeli politics or the settlers’ agenda. The stakes are too high. The issue too serious, the implications too grim,” he added.
Lynn Hastings, the UN’s deputy coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the Council earlier that there is a “growing sense of hopelessness among many Palestinians who see their prospects for statehood, sovereignty and a peaceful future slipping away.”
“Internally, they also see a crumbling and constrained Palestinian economy, lack of progress in advancing intra-Palestinian unity and governance reform, and the urgent need for renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including through a democratically-elected parliament and government in Palestine,” she said.
From June 27 through July 21 there were a total of 399 demolitions and seizures of Palestinian properties, which displaced 400 Palestinians, according to UN data. There were also 27 attacks committed by Israeli settlers and civilians, according to the UN. Those attacks injured 12 victims and damaged Palestinian property, including 1,000 olive trees.
Moreover, Israeli occupation forces killed three Palestinians and injured 287 others, including 28 children, according to Hastings.