World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Gaza Ceasefire Offers Chance To Address 'Root Causes'


Gaza Ceasefire Offers Chance To Address 'Root Causes' Of Israel-Palestine Conflict - UN Official

New York, Nov 26 2012 2:10PM The head of the United Nations agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees said today that the ceasefire halting the recent violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza offered a chance to "address the real problems underlying the crisis."

"It is of crucial. importance that we seize the opportunity provided by this tragic escalation," the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), Filippo Grandi, said in remarks at a meeting of the body's Advisory Commission, taking place by the Dead Sea in Jordan.

"Difficult political work would have to be carried out, including promoting and supporting lasting Palestinian unity," he noted in reference to divisions among the wider Palestinian leadership, according to an UNRWA news release.

"But failing to act now will have dire consequences," he added.

The ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, which controls Gaza, was announced on 21 November, just over a week after the start of the latest wave of deadly violence, which included rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Strip.

In his remarks, Mr. Grandi also noted that an Israeli blockade on Gaza, imposed since 2007, was illegal, and the "greatest danger is to return to the status quo ante, and restore the prison-like conditions of Gaza." He said it would be "only a matter of time (until) violence resumes" if there was such a return.

Mr. Grandi called for the blockade, which Israel has reportedly said it maintains for security reasons, to be "lifted in all its aspects." He mentioned crossings, fishing zones, imports and exports as aspects of the blockade in need of address, and said there should be "proper guarantees given to - and by - all parties in respect of the security of all civilians."

Created by the UN General Assembly in 1949, UNWRA is the main provider of education, health, social and other basic services to the five million registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The refugees trace their roots to those displaced amid the Arab-Israeli hostilities of 1948. The Assembly created the Advisory Commission, which comprises 25 UN Member States and three Observer entities, to "advise and assist" UNWRA.

On Saturday, UNWRA re-opened all but two of its 245 schools in Gaza, according to the agency. It added that all 21 of its health centres resumed operations on Sunday, while it also named three crossings into the Strip that were open.

"The fragile calm in Gaza seems to hold," UNRWA said in a situation report, while also highlighting that a Palestinian youth was killed and 19 other people injured on Friday by fire from the Israel Defense Forces.

"The people of Gaza used the official holiday on Friday to mourn their beloved ones, to rest, and to somehow find a way back into daily life," the report noted. "The first heavy winter storms, accompanied by strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures, brought further hardship to all those living in damaged homes."

Mr. Grandi also briefed the Commission on UNRWA's work amid the crisis in Syria, where many of UNRWA's beneficiaries are located and where violence - since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began over 20 months ago - has killed at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, and spawned more than 440,000 refugees.

"Concerns about the welfare of the half-million Palestine refugees there have grown as they are increasingly affected by the conflict," the Commissioner-General said. "UNRWA's strategy in Syria, as in Gaza, is to be there, to maintain services, and to address the growing emergency needs as much as possible." Nov 26 2012 2:10PM ________________ For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UN.News.Centre) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/UN_News_Centre)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news