UN envoy urges de-escalation in "imploding" Gaza

2018-10-19 11:01:00 | From:Xinhua

The United Nations' Middle East peace coordinator on Thursday warned Gaza is "imploding" with its economic, humanitarian, security and political indicators continuing to deteriorate.

In a video briefing to the Security Council, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said the Gaza economy is in "free fall."

The official unemployment rate has reached 53 percent in the Palestinian enclave, over 70 percent among Palestinian youth, he said, citing numbers from the World Bank.

Moreover, Gaza remains on the brink of "another potentially devastating conflict," the UN envoy warned, while affirming the UN and its partners have engaged in an extraordinary effort to stabilize the situation and prevent an escalation.

"There is a growing consensus and determination among key international and regional partners on moving forward to defuse the powder keg that is Gaza," he said.

In addition, humanitarian efforts there are taking place in coordination with, and in support of, Egypt's efforts to bring Gaza back under the full control of the legitimate Palestinian government, he noted.

"The government's return to Gaza and the lifting of the suffocating movement and access restrictions are necessary for addressing the humanitarian and economic needs of the population in a sustainable manner," he noted, referring to Israel's control over border crossings with Gaza.

"We must see very clear actions on all sides that de-escalate the situation. Otherwise, the consequences will be terrible for everyone," he urged.

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