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Empowered Palestine government critical to achieve lasting peace: UN

February 26, 2024 at 8:33 pm

Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric in New York, US on November 2023 [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The UN, on Monday, stressed the vital importance of an “empowered” Palestinian government for achieving lasting peace, Anadolu Agency reports.

“A strengthened, empowered Palestinian government that can administer the whole of the Occupied Palestinian Territory is critical as part of a path to achieving the establishment of a fully independent democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestinian State … (and) remains the only way to achieve a lasting peace,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, told a press briefing.

Dujarric’s remarks came on the heels of Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, announcing the resignation of his government on Monday to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President.

The administration of Palestinian Territory has been split since 2007, with two separate administrations: the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“The United Nations stands ready to continue supporting efforts aimed at overcoming the humanitarian, political and financial as well as security challenges facing the Palestinian people,” Dujarric added.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), newborns in Gaza are dying because their mothers are unable to attend pre-natal and post-natal check-ups, said the UN official, adding that the incessant bombings lead to premature births in women who are “fleeing for safety and (out of) anxiety.”

Asked what more the UN could do for Gaza, Dujarric said the UN chief will continue his call for a cease-fire but added that “those who have the power, those who are controlling the weapons, those who are holding the hostages, they have “the power to bring this to an end”.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October  cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group, Hamas, killing nearly 30,000 people and causing mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85 per cent of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.

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