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July 24, 2020 9:08 am
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UN Official Blames Palestinians for Their Economic, Health Problems

avatar by Elder of Ziyon

Opinion

A man in a protective suit walks on a street in the West Bank town of Beit Jala, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, March 7, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mussa Qawasma.

The United Nations will always be anti-Israel, but it is still refreshing when a UN official notes that the Palestinian leadership is failing its people.

Earlier this week, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov  delivered an address to the UN Security Council.

Here are excerpts where he is critical of the Palestinian leadership or complimentary towards Israel:

Regrettably, the situation on the ground is rapidly being affected by the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel.

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The challenge of confronting the rapid increase in cases in the West Bank and boosting prevention efforts in Gaza has been significantly compounded by the ending of coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The PA’s refusal to accept any clearance revenues transferred by Israel has exacerbated an already concerning fiscal crisis and impacted service provision. It has effectively blocked the ability of patients to travel from Gaza for treatment outside of the Strip and has led to delays in delivering humanitarian assistance and materials intended for the COVID-19 response and other health support and services.

On the economic side, the Palestinian Ministry of Finance announced on 2 July that it would pay partial Government salaries for the month of May. The May salary payments were delayed due to an 80 per cent reduction in Palestinian revenues stemming from the economic impact of COVID-19 and from the PA’s refusal to accept the monthly transfers of its clearance revenues. It is unclear whether the Palestinian Government will have sufficient resources to make any future salary payments or, indeed, to continue to carry out its governing functions in the coming months.

The suspension of coordination between the PA and Israel has also impeded the ability of Palestinian Security Forces (PSF) to move through Areas B and C of the West Bank, undermining their capacity to enforce COVID-19-related restrictions.

Mladenov is being careful with his words, but he is clearly putting the blame on the Palestinian Authority for disregarding the health and well-being of the people it supposedly is meant to protect.

He also gave rare kudos to Israel:

I note that the latest information available from Israeli authorities indicates that, as of 31 May, the number of Palestinian detainees, including minors, in Israeli prisons is at its lowest level in years. The number of Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons has declined by some 30 percent, from 201 in February to 142 in May. While still too high, I welcome this development, particularly in light of the recent calls to release detainees and reduce their numbers during the COVID-19 crisis.

For the United Nations, it was a refreshing change of pace indeed.

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