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News > Palestine

UN Calls for Political Solution to End Israel-Palestine Strife

  • Workers in the Israeli bombed zone in Gaza, May 2021.

    Workers in the Israeli bombed zone in Gaza, May 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @dimitrilascaris

Published 29 July 2021

The UN humanitarian coordinator in Palestine asked the international community not to lose sight of a basic objective: ending the Israeli occupation and realizing a two-state solution.

The United Nations called for a political solution to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, although the international community is providing urgent assistance to Gaza in the wake of the most recent round of hostilities.


Israel Strikes Gaza and Reduces Palestinian Fishing Zone

"Urgent efforts to improve the situation in Gaza must move forward swiftly, but let us not lose sight of the broader goal: resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the occupation and realizing a two-state solution on the basis of UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements," said Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Palestine, while briefing the Security Council on developments in the aftermath of 11 days of brutal fighting in May.

The damage from the escalation is estimated at between US$290 million to US$380 million, according to an assessment by the World Bank and the European Union. Economic losses are projected at nearly US$200 million. Gaza's social sector was hit hard, weakening the safety net for the most vulnerable residents, while the immediate and short-term recovery and reconstruction could cost up to US$485 million.

"International efforts to implement the humanitarian response and stabilize the situation on the ground in Gaza are well underway," Hastings said, adding that "thus far, some US$45 million of a requested US$95 million has been raised for the consolidated humanitarian flash appeal published by the UN in May." 

Fuel deliveries for the Gaza Power Plant resumed on June 28 through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and additional restrictions on the import and export of certain items have been lifted. Israel also expanded the Gaza fishing zone up to 12 nautical miles, but reduced it by half this week following the launch of incendiary balloons into its territory.

"In this context, further steps are needed... It is essential that Israel implement additional measures to allow unhindered entry of all humanitarian assistance, including materials to implement the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan and the Flash Appeal," Hasting said.

Without regular and predictable entry of goods into Gaza, response would be at risk and livelihoods, as well as the wider economy, would be affected. Improved movement and access is also critical for any durable stability.

Hastings also highlighted the financial situation at the UN agency that assists the Palestinian people, UNRWA, which is facing a US$100 million shortfall. The cash flow crisis could affect the re-opening of school for half a million children in Gaza, and undermine humanitarian and early recovery programs there.


Lynn Hastings
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