UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A top UN official hinted that Iran attempted to force Hamas and Israel into another war.
“There are forces out there that want to disrupt that agreement and push us all into the abyss of a confrontation,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said.
Speaking Wednesday at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, he described efforts to restore the ceasefire agreement of 2014.
The paper’s diplomatic correspondent, Herb Keinon, asked him about the Iranian influence in Gaza, to which he responded, “Someone is trying to disrupt it [ceasefire arrangement efforts].”
Mladenov added, “I am hoping that together we can overcome these forces.”
“What I have seen is that no one wants a war in Gaza now. It is going to be damaging for everyone,” he said.
Mladenov added that he hoped, therefore, that the forces that have been put together to prevent an escalation are stronger that those that want to prevent it.
The UN envoy, together with Egypt, has been a critical player in efforts to prevent violence.
“Egypt holds the key to the political process [to end the violence]. We have been working with the Egyptians for a couple of years. You [Israel] do not have a better partner anywhere in the Arab world than Egypt,” Mladenov said.
“There is a common understanding that going to war in Gaza now is against the interests of Israel, the Gaza people and against the [best] direction for the region,” Mladenov said.
He angered some in the audience when he explained that it was damning for the democratic country of Israel when its soldiers shot at Palestinian children holding stones on the Gaza side of the southern border fence.
It was clear that there were violent Palestinian actions on the border, such as the placing of bombs, infiltrations and incendiary balloons, Mladenov said.
Efrat Council head Oded Revivi, who is also Yesha’s foreign envoy, took issue with Mladenov’s words, when he spoke at the next panel.
“When we have terrorists attacking us, it is our right to defend ourselves,” Revivi said.
It is wrong, he added, for the UN envoy to call terrorists innocent kids and to blame the IDF for defending Israeli citizens.
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