The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov Thursday expressed concerns over the situation in Gaza, and urged Israel to understand that its policies on the besieged enclave only “escalates violence.”
Mladenov stressed in the statement that Israeli authorities must come to an understanding that policies adding pressure to the besieged Gaza Strip would only serve to “escalate violence,” adding that the UN has aimed to “maintain peace and calmness in the region.”
Mladenov pointed out that Israel is seeking to “lessen its siege” on the Gaza Strip, which has been under a tightly controlled Israeli-imposed siege for nearly a decade, but added Israel was not doing enough to lessen the blockade.
He further commented on the Israeli bodies being held by Hamas, saying that “no one had the right to hold human bodies,” and that “everyone has the right to give proper burials to family and friends.”
Mladenov stressed that the “current calmness” must be maintained by focusing on reconstruction and economic development of the Gaza Strip. He also met with Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mufid Mohammed al-Hasayna, in Gaza to discuss the latest developments related to reconstruction.
Al-Hasayna emphasized the oncoming crisis expected during the winter for Palestinians whose homes were demolished during the devastating 2014 Israeli offensive on Gaza, as some 75,000 Palestinians still remain displaced after losing their homes.