Palestinian workers are waiting for transportation after crossing from Gaza to Israel, on the Israeli side of Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, March 27, 2022. A cease-fire in Gaza and Israel was described by ODED BALILTY AP UNITED NATIONS UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland as fragile and called for talks toward a two-state solution to end the cycles of violence.
There has been a very worrying escalation between Israeli military forces and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip over the past days, according to Wennesland, who spoke to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.
On Sunday night, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Israeli Prime Minister's Office announced in separate statements that a cease-fire had been agreed, he said, noting that cease-fire remains in place so far.
According to Wennesland, the de-escalation of the situation helped prevent the outbreak of a full-scale war, and allowed for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza starting earlier Monday, due to the crucial role played by Egypt in securing the cease-fire alongside the United Nations, as well as support by related parties.
He pointed out that the most recent escalation had its roots in deeper tensions.
I want to make the Council aware of the fact that the cease-fire is fragile. In his briefing to the Security Council, he said that any resumption of hostilities would only have devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis and make political progress elusive.
Wennesland called for a viable two-state solution in the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, along with the international community, to strengthen diplomatic efforts to return to meaningful negotiations.
The underlying drivers of this and previous escalations remain. He said these cycles of violence will only cease when there is a political resolution to the conflict that brings an end to the occupation and the realization of a two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, in line with UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.