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Source: United Nations (Video News)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said the viability of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is being undermined by an economic and fiscal crisis and appealed to the Palestinian leadership to “resume its coordination with Israel and accept its clearance revenues – money that belongs to the Palestinian people and cannot be replaced by donor funding.”

Speaking today (26 Oct) at a virtual meeting of the Security Council, Mladenov said the crisis stems primarily from a collapse in domestic tax revenues during the COVID19 emergency and from the Palestinian Government’s refusal to receive its clearance revenues. He said this is being exacerbated by the PA’s decision to end civilian and security coordination with Israel. He stressed that the UN stands ready to “mediate solutions to the fiscal crisis and to get the Palestinian economy on better footing.” He reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for both sides to “re-examine the nature of their economic relationship and improve it for the benefit of both peoples.”

Turning to settlements, Mladenov expressed concern over the advancing of some 5,000 units recently. He underscored that approximately 85 per cent of these units are in settlements in outlying locations, deep inside the West Bank, and all in areas impeding the contiguity of a future Palestinian state. He added, “While the location of these units is particularly worrying, I reiterate that all settlements are illegal under international law and remain a substantial obstacle to peace. Settlement-related activities should cease as they undermine the prospect of achieving a viable two-State solution in line with UN resolutions, international law and prior agreements.”
The Special Coordinator hoped that new avenues of cooperation to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace will emerge. He added, “The normalization agreements between Israel and three Arab States must help create such opportunities. As we have seen in statements from Amman to Cairo – from international partners and the League of Arab States – the commitment to the two-State solution, in line with UN resolutions and international law, continues to be affirmed by broad regional and international consensus.”