The Security Council held a meeting on the Middle East this morning. Briefing Council members, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane said Israelis and Palestinians are in the most intensive set of negotiations on final status issues since the breakdown of the political process nearly eight years ago. The significance of this should not be underestimated, but neither should the grave risks to the process be overlooked.
In that context, Kane noted major episodes of violence, especially in and around Gaza, and expressed deep alarm at the prospects of a further intensification of violence.
Kane noted that Israel is now re-examining security mechanisms to ensure the secure delivery of commercial fuel into Gaza. In the meantime, however, the lack of fuel has had adverse impacts for Gazans. For example, 15-20 per cent of the population now receives water for only 3-5 hours every four days. And 60,000 cubic meters of raw and partially treated sewage continue to be dumped daily into the Mediterranean Sea.