UN wants to strengthen int’l support for Palestinians

Ursula Mueller says visit to Israel and Palestinian territories ‘concerned’ her.

Palestinians look on as Israeli police set up a checkpoint in the Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud October 14, 2015 (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Palestinians look on as Israeli police set up a checkpoint in the Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud October 14, 2015
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
The international community should “ensure continued commitment, consistent and sustained funding to help alleviate the challenges faced by Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the United Nations said on its website this week.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller recently visited Israel and the Palestinian territories for six days.
The Palestinians are in need of stronger international support, she said, adding: “My visit leaves me concerned. The challenges here are immense, but recent positive steps, along with the extraordinary people I met, give me hope that there are opportunities for improvement. We must seize them.”
Muller was in Israel to speak at a conference in Tel Aviv dealing with preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters. While in Israel, she met with both Israeli and Palestinian officials “to better understand the challenges of the crisis.”
The UN did not specify which Israeli officials Muller met with. It said she met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
The UN said she visited the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza. In the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Muller “met with vulnerable communities,” and in Gaza, she visited a number of sites, including a hospital.
According to the UN, during her visit, Mueller reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to addressing humanitarian needs in the Palestinian territories and to lifting the blockade in Gaza.
“Until there is a viable political solution, it is critical that the international community continues to render support in a consistent and sustained manner to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Palestinians,” she said. “Member states must continue to support humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank. At the same time, they must work to rekindle a robust political dialogue and promote long-term solutions to address the root causes of this crisis.”