Palestinians playing cards in Ramallah cafe 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Palestinian state building efforts are at risk unless a diplomatic solution is
found which would allow for a permanent-status agreement that ends the conflict,
the UN said Wednesday in a report that it issued in advance of a donor
conference in New York on Sunday.
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It issued its report as Palestinians
prepare to seek unilateral statehood at the United Nations by requesting that it
be recognized as a member state this month.
The report lauded Palestinian
state-building efforts but made no comment on the Palestinian membership
It chastised both the Palestinians and Israelis for failing to
progress on a diplomatic solution to end the conflict and noted that the gap
between the Palestinians’ institutional progress and the stagnant political one
“The inability of the Israelis and the Palestinians to meet
the target date for a permanent- status agreement or even to resume negotiations
is a source of deep concern,” said the report “Palestinian State Building: an
achievement at risk” which was put out by the Office of Robert Serry, UN Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
It followed a report
issued earlier this week by the World Bank which said that a fiscal crisis also
threatened Palestinian statehood.
In a statement he issued with the
report, Serry said, “I am very worried about the disconnect between what the PA
has achieved on the ground, and where the political process stands. The PA has
completed what it set out to achieve two years ago to prepare its institutions
to be able to assume the responsibilities of statehood.”
But, he added,
the reality is that there is only so much that can be done in conditions of
prolonged occupation, unresolved final-status issues and no serious progress on
a two-state solution.” He added that the continued split between Fatah and Hamas
was also problematic.
“Further achievements in state-building require
that the politics catch up with the impressive progress on the ground. People
should realize that if we do not meet this challenge, the achievements the
Palestinian Authority has realized will be increasingly at risk,” he
The report called for the release of Gilad Schalit who has been
held captive in Gaza for the last five years and noted its concern for Hamas
treatment of NGOs in the Gaza Strip.
It spoke of the terror attack in
Eilat and Palestinian violence against Israelis, and the bulk of the report
dealt with issues relating to the Israeli “occupation” of the West
The report spoke of its concern about issues relating to
Palestinian movement and access, settlement building and settler violence,
particularly the recent vandal attacks on mosques.
It welcomed a decision
over the summer by the High Court of Justice to demolish three homes in the
settler outpost of Migron.
At the same time, the report said, the growing
number of Palestinian homes that had been demolished in Area C – areas over
which Israel has full security and civic control – was of concern.
called on Israel to “roll back measures of occupation which continue to stifle
Palestinian economic growth.”
“We saw good steps in this regard during
2009 and 2010, but we haven’t seen bolder steps since then,” he said. “If the
weight of the occupation is not being lifted, all the achievements to date will
be increasingly difficult to sustain.”