The UN envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, warned on Thursday that the ceasefire reached last month between Israel and the Palestinian militias in Gaza remains “very fragile”, which urged all parties to avoid any movement that could reignite the conflict.
“I urge all parties to avoid unilateral steps and provocations, to take steps to reduce tensions and to allow these (mediation) efforts to succeed,” Wennesland said in an appearance before the Security Council.
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The diplomat defended that everyone must do their part to facilitate the “ongoing talks to stabilize the situation on the ground and prevent another devastating escalation in Gaza.”
The ceasefire reached on May 21 ended 11 days of strong war escalation, the worst in Gaza since 2014.
Wennesland defended that international efforts focus right now on reinforcing that cessation of hostilities, bringing humanitarian assistance and initiating reconstruction of Gaza, but stressed that it is also necessary to put a political horizon back on the table to resolve the conflict.
The UN envoy also warned the Security Council about Israeli settlement activities and about the increase in episodes of violence linked to settlers.
“Once again I underline, without a doubt, that the Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law. They are a major obstacle to achieving a two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. The advance of all settlement activity must stop immediately,” he stressed.
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