UN en­voy warns Gaza fac­ing ‘full col­lapse’

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Tel Aviv, Is­rael - A senior United Na­tions of­fi­cial on Tues­day warned the Pales­tinian coastal en­clave of the Gaza Strip was on the verge of ‘full col­lapse’.

UN Mid­dle East peace en­voy Nick­o­lay Mlade­nov said a key to sav­ing Gaza from dis­as­ter was restor­ing the gov­ern­ment of Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas to power there, a decade af­ter it was forced out by the Ha­mas move­ment.

“Without that Gaza risks ex­plod­ing in our face again, this time in a far more deadly and vi­o­lent man­ner than in the past,” Mlade­nov said at the an­nual con­fer­ence of Is­rael’s In­sti­tute for Na­tional Se­cu­rity Stud­ies.

Gaza, bat­tered since 2008 by three wars be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tinian mil­i­tants, suf­fers from shat­tered in­fra­struc­ture, a strict Is­raeli block­ade and mas- sive un­em­ploy­ment.

Ear­lier this month, the White House froze tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in con­tri­bu­tions to the UN agency for Pales­tinian refugees.

“I of­ten say pub­licly, in (UN) Se­cu­rity Coun­cil brief­ings and in other for­mats, that we are in the midst of a ma­jor hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis,” Mlade­nov said. “Let me be very clear to­day here, that we're well be­yond that.”

“We’re on the verge of a to­tal sys­tems fail­ure in Gaza, with a full col­lapse of the econ­omy, with so­cial ser­vices, po­lit­i­cal, hu­man­i­tar­ian and se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions stem­ming from that.” Mlade­nov said he would raise those con­cerns in Brus­sels on Wed­nes­day at a meet­ing of the Ad Hoc Li­ai­son Com­mit­tee, which co­or­di­nates in­ter­na­tional donor sup­port for the Pales­tini­ans.

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