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


Barrier etc challenge Israeli-Palestinian Solution

Annan: Barrier, Settlements And Security Challenge Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution

The "window of opportunity" to revitalize the Middle East peace process that opened during the past year is still ajar, but the setbacks include Israel's building of the separation barrier and the Palestinian Authority's failure to help restore law and order, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says in his latest report .

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank in September, he says, "I would like to commend Prime Minister Sharon's political courage and steady commitment to disengagement. I would also like to commend the Palestinian Authority for its responsible behaviour during this period, in facilitating a smooth and peaceful operation."

On the other hand, unilateral actions meant that the Israeli Defence
Forces did not demolish places of worship and the Palestinian Authority, left with them unexpectedly, could not protect them, he says in the report to both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, covering the period from September 2004 to September 2005.

Israeli Government-sponsored settlement activity may have a negative impact on the contiguity of Palestinian territory and is a source of serious concern, he adds. According to the road map to peace drawn up by the mediating Quartet – the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia – "Israel has an obligation to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth, and immediately dismantle outposts erected illegally since March 2001," he writes.

Instead, in the spring of 2005, Israel announced plans to construct 3,500 new housing units in Ma'ale Adumim and two other settlement blocs in the West Bank, and in early June it publicized tenders for the construction of 22 housing units in Ma'ale Adumim, he notes.

Mr. Annan urged the Government of Israel "to address its security concerns in a manner that will not increase suffering among Palestinians, prejudge final status issues, or threaten longer-term prospects for peace by making the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian State more difficult."

The settlements and "Israel's continued construction of the barrier in the West Bank, which encroaches on Palestinian land" constitute a key challenge to the fulfilment of the road map's goal of a two-State solution, he says.

A recent independent report in the Palestinian security services by Strategic Assessments Initiative, written in collaboration with U.S. Security Coordinator Gen. William Ward and in consultation with senior Palestinian security officials, said the services were divided, weak, overstaffed, badly motivated and under-armed, with a number of unintegrated forces, Palestinian clans and individual force commanders wielding undue influence, Mr. Annan says.

"Other potentially troubling issues within the security services include corruption, institutional hierarchies, cults of personality and lack of cohesive training," he states, adding that in the period after the Israeli disengagement, the problems within the services were illustrated when law and order seemed to crumble.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...

Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>

UN: Michele Bachelet On Inter-religious Clashes In Ethiopia

I am deeply distressed by the recent violent clashes between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia in which at least 30 people were reportedly killed and more than 100 others injured... More>>

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>