UN: Israeli expansionism and divisions among Palestinians a danger to the Middle East
Speaking to the Security Council Nickolay Mladenov describes an "increasingly worrying and dangerous situation" "Immobility" of the international community is costing "human lives and suffering." Israel raises an expansion project in east Jerusalem which includes the construction of 500 new homes.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The expansionist policies of Israel regarding settlements and entrenched divisions between the Palestinians make " the evolution of the situation in the Middle East increasingly "dangerous, according to the UN special envoy Nickolay Mladenov.
He was intervening during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council which was held yesterday at UN Headquarters in New York. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities have re-launched the project to build 500 new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.
During the meeting Mladenov defined the new settlements part of an "increasingly worrying" development and called on the government authorities to stop the project.
"The situation on the ground - said top UN diplomat - The situation on the ground is changing steadily, dangerously, as proponents of Israeli settlement expansion feel emboldened, internal divisions among Palestinians flare up, and the prospect of a future Palestinian state comes under threat like never before".
The Bulgarian’s intervention comes just a few hours after the announcement of the Israeli authorities, which have re-launched the project - without long - to build 500 new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. An area that, according to the Palestinians, should be the capital of a future – in an increasingly unlikely - Palestinian nation.
Analysts and Middle East policy experts point out that the decision of Israel is the confirmation of an expansion policy that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to step up following the US presidential victory of Donald Trump. The executive's hawks are convinced that the new administration will be less critical of the settlements than Barack Obama, at least in theory.
The test of the Israeli government's strength is matched by the inertia of the international community, primarily the United Nations. "The inaction has a cost - warned Mladenov - a price which is measured in human lives and suffering" and those opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state "do not offer viable solutions."
"The alternative - said in his speech to the Security Council - is an occupation without end, a permanent conflict that fuels the hatred between the peoples of Israel and Palestine and that nourishes extremism in the Middle East torn by ethnic and religious conflicts".
According to the latest statistics provided by Peace Now, Israel gave the green light to 2,623 housing units in the West Bank, including 756 illegally-built homes that have been retrospectively "legalised”.
About 570,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built by Israel after it seized the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Under international law these settlements are illegal, a view disputed by the Israeli government, which has boosted its expansionist policy in recent years.
Peace talks between the two sides broke down in 2014, triggering an escalation of violence in the region.