Nathan Schmidt / Bethlehem
In a speech to the annual meeting of the INSS in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov called on the Israeli government to ‘to enhance the powers and responsibilities of the Palestinian Authority’.
Addressing what he regarded as a ‘dangerous place to be in’, Mladenovic called on Israel to support the Palestinian Authority as the only means forward to achieve lasting peace.
‘(We need to) continue to work with the PA and not to give up on the institutions that they have built, particularly on the provision of services to their own people because that is critical to the future,’ said Mladenov.
Mladenov raised the issue of Gaza as being another obstruction to peace and urged Israel to support any PA lead initiative to bring Gaza back under their authority.
‘Returning Gaza under legitimate control and ending the militant activity there is critical. It is critical to Israel’s security. It is critical to Egypt’s security. It is critical for the people of Gaza and for Palestinians in general’.
Mladenov reiterated the United Nation’s concerns for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, stating that he felt they had exceeded previous dire assessments and that Gaza was ‘on the verge of a total systems failure’.
Addressing the conference of Israeli military experts, Mladenov highlighted the United Nation’s continued commitment to the two-state solution and urged the international community to encourage conditions in which talks could resume.
‘Today, objectively, neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian side are in a position to sit down and have meaningful negotiations of the final status issues’ said Mladenov. ‘We need to look at how to create the conditions that will ultimately be conducive to the return of both sides to the table in future.’
Mladenov addressed the forthcoming ‘Ad-Hoc’ meeting this Wednesday in Brussels in which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be in attendance. Mladenov called on the meeting as an opportunity ‘to pass a very clear message’ that ‘The two-state solution is prerequisite to peace’.