UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Urges Resumed Negotiations to Reach Ceasefire in Gaza

New York, The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland urged the parties seeking a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to redouble all efforts and return to the negotiating table “immediately and in good faith.” Addressing a Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East early Tuesday, Wennesland emphasized the UN’s support for mediation efforts to secure the release of all hostages and achieve ceasefire to provide relief to civilian populations.

“I am deeply concerned that the current trajectory – including the possibility of a larger-scale operation – will further undermine efforts to scale-up the entry of humanitarian goods and their safe distribution to desperate civilians,” he stressed.

The UN official stated that the Secretary-General, alongside numerous international partners and concerned neighbors, have voiced serious objection to a military operation in the city of Rafah amid clear indications of its devastating consequences for the civilian population.

“I am
very concerned that the failure to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and a large-scale military operation in Rafah exacerbates the risk of escalating regional tensions,” Wennesland added.

He underlined that the international community should provide support to the new Palestinian Government to address its fiscal challenges, strengthen its governance capacity and prepare it to reassume its responsibilities in Gaza and, ultimately, govern the whole of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that the situation in Gaza has been described as a catastrophe, a nightmare and hell on earth.

“To be frank, we are running out of words to describe what is happening” in the Strip, she said.

She noted that living conditions continue to deteriorate particularly in Jabalaya and eastern Rafah and the number of casualties continues to increase.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, more than 35,000 people
have now been killed in the violence, and more than 79,000 injured, she added.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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