“Your country is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by floods.” Isaiah 1:7 (The Israel Bible™)
The persistent absence of progress to resolve the “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict continues to significantly impede Arab development in Judea and Samaria and especially in Gaza, according to a new report issued by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). The report will be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) at the bi-annual meeting in Brussels on May 4, 2017.
Analyzing the impact of the Hamas take-over ten years ago and the ensuing Israeli closures and conflicts, the report notes that “Gaza is facing a downward spiral of de-development, while the people in Gaza are caught in a cycle of humanitarian need and perpetual aid dependency.”
The UN has already warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable by 2020.
According to Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov, the parties are overdue to take the necessary steps on the ground to create an environment conducive to peace, as recommended by the Middle East Quartet.
The report highlights the increase in Israeli settlement activity in Area C, as well as the high rate of demolitions in Arab and Bedouin communities, also in Area C.
According to the Oslo accords, Area C is governed entirely by the IDF, which is empowered to enforce the law in accordance with Israeli policy.
The report also looks at the continuing violence and acts of terror against Israelis. And it focuses on the urgent need to resolve the deepening political rift between Hamas and the PA, and the continued military build-up and firing of rockets by Hamas and “extremist” groups in Gaza.
With the situation already tense in the Gaza Strip, the report warns that the continuing dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas over electricity, payment of salaries and other critical issues have significantly aggravated the situation in Gaza. The social, economic and political consequences of crisis should not be underestimated. Arabs in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures.