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West Bank Reaching ‘Boiling Point’ Says UN Mideast Envoy

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avatar by i24 News

Palestinians run near burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces following a raid, in Jenin in the West Bank April 9, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

i24 NewsThe United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process warned on Monday that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “again reaching a boiling point.”

During a briefing to the UN Security Council, Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland told the members that “decades of persistent violence, illegal settlement expansion, dormant negotiations and deepening occupation” have led to the conflict reaching a “boiling point.”

The high levels of violence, as described by Wennesland, include “attacks against Israeli and Palestinian civilians, increased use of arms, and settler-related violence,” all of which have “caused grave human suffering.”

He continued that the twin bombings in Jerusalem that killed two Israelis and wounded over a dozen more must be rejected and condemned by all. Wennesland also condemned settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, adding: “The targeting of civilians can never be justified, and the violence must stop.”

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Wennesland also warned: “Demography is moving faster than politics.”

“In a few years, exponential population growth in the West Bank and Gaza will make it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to manage the economic, political, and security situation.”

During a UN briefing attended by i24NEWS, Wennesland stated that he has not yet had any discussions with the presumptive new Israeli government – likely to be led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu – but is instead dealing with one government at a time.

He also noted his experience with governments led by Netanyahu but commented on the different voices that will appear in the likely coalition. When asked whether he anticipates difficulty dealing with the incoming Netanyahu government, he quipped that all governments in the Middle East are difficult to deal with.

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