Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
On 8 February, the Secretary-General briefed the Council in closed consultations on his visit to the Middle East and, among other things, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. He commended King Abdullah of Jordan for hosting talks between the parties. He informed the Council that he had urged the parties to remain engaged and take confidence-building steps, including the submission of comprehensive proposals on territory and security to create an environment conducive to negotiations, which was the only viable option for a lasting two-State solution. He noted the recent Fatah-Hamas agreement, on reconciliation, and said he believed that the two tracks — reconciliation and negotiations with Israel — were not mutually exclusive. He informed the Council that the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, had told him that any Palestinian unity government would abide by previous commitments. He stressed that while in the West Bank he had noticed concrete signs of institutional development fundamental for the functioning of a future State, the situation in Gaza was unsustainable. He also mentioned the situation of Palestinian prisoners. Some Council members called upon Israel to remove impediments to peace negotiations so as not to compromise a final and peaceful solution, including accepting discussions of the issue of Palestinian prisoners and their inspection by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Secretary-General condemned the rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel the night before his arrival in the region.
On 28 February, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Council on the situation between Palestine and Israel. He said that talks between the parties that started on 3 January in Amman had stalled. He reiterated that the framework set on 23 September 2011 by the Quartet remained relevant. He mentioned the Palestinian requirements for restarting the negotiations. He noted the agreement between the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the leader of the Hamas Movement, Kahled Meshaal, to form a transitional government to be led by Mr. Abbas. The Under-Secretary-General reaffirmed that the United Nations supports Palestinian unity within the framework of the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Quartet principles, and the Arab Peace Initiative. He reiterated that the United Nations condemns indiscriminate rocket fire on Israel.