Date/Location: Wednesday February 20, 2019; 10:00 to 11:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Cote D’ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, South Africa, Kuwait
Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin
The Security Council met to discuss the situation in Palestine. The meeting began with a briefing by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. He noted the tragedies resulting from the crisis such as 7 Israeli teenagers killed by a Palestinian perpetrator and 11 Palestinians who were casualties of an operation by Israeli security forces. His recommended expanding opportunities for free trade, ensuring continued security coordination, and allowing the Palestinian government to provide more services. He also criticized Israel’s decision not to renew the Temporary International Presence in Hebron or TIPH. TIPH was a civilian observer mission in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator also gave a briefing, mentioning that at its core, the situation on the ground is a protection crisis. Ultimately, the solution is not humanitarian but political. However, manny humanitarian problems exist. The Health system in Gaza is at risk of collapsing and essential supplies are scarce. Violence persists from both sides. There is an increase in casualties associated with demonstrations at the Gaza fence. At the same, Palestinian attacks on Israelis persist. Three healthcare providers have also been killed according WHO.
The Special Coordinator’s words on the TIPH were echoed by South Africa, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Equatorial Guinea. Indonesia went further to say that the situation seems to be heading towards a one state solution, and warned that no diplomatic missions should be moved to Jerusalem. Notably, while the United Nations has always stressed that this is a crisis with no victim or villain, and no one side at fault, no delegates mentioned that the threats or violence posed to Israeli civilians which have and continue to suffer due to the conflict. Moreover, no delegate gave any inclination of Palestinian’s role in the crisis.