UNITED NATIONS (VOP TODAY NEWS) – The United Nations coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nikolay Mladenov, stressed today that the world body will not accept any change on the 1967 borders, especially with regard to the status of Jerusalem.
In an intervention at the UN Security Council, Mladenov warned that the continuation of Israeli settlement activities threatens the prospects for a two-state solution and peace in the region, pointing to the need to reach agreement on final status issues based on relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law.
The official reiterated the call to the parties to the conflict and the international community to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, to take remarkable steps to achieve a sustainable and just peace based on the two-state solution in the region.
Mladenov accused the Israeli authorities of not taking any action in response to UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on settlements, beginning in late 2017. He expressed concern about a “funding gap” estimated at $ 446 million a year in the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The Coordinator of the Peace Process urged the Member States of the United Nations to provide further support as soon as possible so that UNRWA could continue to carry out its sensitive role in the region.
The United States has reduced its support to UNRWA earlier this year against the backdrop of the position of the Palestinians and the international community opposed to the recognition of US President Donald Trump in the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Mladenov: Hamas must hand over all checkpoints to the Palestinian Authority
In another context, Mladenov expressed the concern of the international community about the establishment of the Palestinian Hamas movement checkpoint on the Palestinian side of the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
“I note with concern that today’s reports indicate that Hamas has set up a checkpoint outside the Beit Hanoun / Erez crossing and controls the entry of local and foreign personnel into Gaza and the exit of all ID card holders from Gaza,” Mladenov said. He added: “According to the October 12 Palestinian agreement, all checkpoints must be handed over to the Palestinian Authority.”
In response, Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bazm told Agence France-Presse that “there are temporary measures imposed by the security services at all ports and border areas in the follow-up investigations into the bombing of the Prime Minister’s convoy.”
A security source at the crossing, who preferred not to be identified, said the security of Hamas “established, since last Thursday, a checkpoint at the outer gate of the crossing and prevented a number of people from traveling.”
On November 1, the Palestinian Authority assumed full responsibility for the Gaza Strip crossings, including the Rafah crossing after it was controlled by Hamas since the summer of 2007. This came within the terms of a reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah in Cairo in October 2017 under Egyptian auspices.
On March 13, the explosion of the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah in Beit Hanoun, after entering the Gaza Strip, targeted a new blow to the stalled Palestinian reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas. Hamdallah was not hurt in the blast, which wounded seven people.
Last Thursday, the main suspect in the bombing was killed after clashes during his arrest with one of his aides and two Hamas security officers were killed.
For 10 years, the Gaza Strip has been subject to a strict Israeli blockade. Egypt also closes the Rafah crossing, the only outlet connecting the sector to the world.
The Erez crossing is the only one through which Israel allows passage. However, the categories allowed to travel are limited to a limited number of humanitarian and foreign cases, as well as some Palestinians working in international organizations.