UNITED NATIONS, December 16 (Sputnik) – The situation in the Middle East with regard to Israel-Palestine relations remains "explosive", despite continuing efforts toward a peace settlement, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has announced.
“While important, we must recognize that these actions [draft resolution on the creation of a Palestinian state] are not a substitute for a genuine peace process that will need to be negotiated between both parties. In the meantime, the situation on the ground remains explosive,” Robert Serry said Monday.
The UN Special Coordinator added that in the past month, 633 Palestinians including 73 children have been injured and another 406 arrested by Israeli security forces. Within the same time period, nine Israeli soldiers and 20 Israeli settlers were injured in clashes with Palestinians, according to Serry.
Addressing a UN Security Council meeting Monday, Serry said that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has reached a dramatic point and that the international community had an important part to play “in shaping a way ahead”. Palestinians and Israelis should urgently take steps to pave the way for a secure future, the Middle East coordinator emphasized.
Recently, the tensions between Israel and Palestine soared over the death of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein last Wednesday, during clashes in the West Bank.
Palestinians want to create an independent state on the West Bank territories, including East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. In October, the Palestinian Authority drew up a draft resolution demanding Israel to end occupation and settlement activities on the territories before November 2016.