RAMALLAH, November 22 (JMCC) - The top United Nations envoy to the Middle East called Tuesday
for diplomatic movement on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
“We have to find a meaningful diplomatic path forward,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Security Council as he briefed the 15-member body on the latest developments.
He said that the Israelis and Palestinians have recently worked with the diplomatic grouping known as the Quartet, which comprises the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States.
“While this is constructive, direct negotiations without preconditions, in which the parties would be expected to table territorial and security proposals within 90 days, are still not taking place.”
Mr. Serry noted that provocations continue to damage consultations and make resuming direct negotiations very difficult. In addition, Israel is continuing to expand settlements and views negatively the Palestinian bid for full UN membership.
Israel is also withholding some $100 million in Palestinian Authority tax revenue following Palestinian membership in the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Withholding this level of funding would cripple any government, let alone an authority under occupation,” Mr. Serry said, adding that if not immediately unblocked, this action threatens the state-building gains made by the Palestinian Authority.