In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israelis, Palestinians to step back from brink of war

Government & Politics

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov called on the Israelis and Palestinians to pull back from the brink of a confrontation and to stop the escalation in the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday we were on the brink of war. And it has taken the concerted efforts of everyone to make sure that we step back from confrontation, Mladenov told a press conference in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Telling Palestinians in Gaza that he knew the difficult conditions they lived in and how hard it was to believe anyone who tells them that their lives would be improved, he appealed to all Palestinians, to all parents of all children in Gaza today to step back and keep the protests peaceful.

The UN envoy also appealed to Israel, to be very restrained in its responses to the situation in Gaza. "I appeal to snipers not to shoot children, he said, adding: I appeal to everybody to step back from the brink!

Mladenov laid out in detail the grim series of events that had led to this most recent face-off between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, citing the rapid deterioration in the humanitarian situation with the collapse of the economy and ongoing water and electricity shortages; the stalled Palestinian reconciliation process; and the dire security situation in the wake of Israel's deadly response to the recent series of Palestinian protests that began at the Gaza border fence in March.

I want to begin by expressing deepest condolences to the parents of all the children whose lives have been lost in the past few weeks; to all journalists and to all medical professionals, who have lost their lives in the line of duty, he said.

For any progress to be made in tackling these challenges and easing the current flaring tensions, the envoy called for concerted efforts by all to pull back from a confrontation that nobody wants, nobody needs and in which everyone will lose.

Further, the international community has the responsibility to act immediately and meet the expectations not only of providing aid to the people of Gaza, but of designing a political path to move forward, Mladenov said, pointing out that the key allies in this effort would be the Palestinian people in Gaza themselves

Source: International Islamic News Agency