UN official: Palestinian Authority chairman abuses Palestinians

UN must openly condemn terror, UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, tells Conference of Presidents.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nickolay Mladenov at the Conference of Presidents
Nickolay Mladenov at the Conference of Presidents
COP/Avi Hayun

United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, spoke at the 44th Annual Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations about terrorism and peace in the Middle East.

The five-day conference was held in Jerusalem and led by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen Greenberg and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein.

In his speech, Mladenov noted the importance of clarity on what constituted terror, and the ability to criticize both sides when there was concern. He reiterated strongly that, “We need to be very clear in the UN what is considered terrorism and what is not. We must speak up openly and say clearly, when you go into someone’s house and slaughter a family - that is terrorism. That is not resistance, that is not legitimate.”

Mladenov also said, “There is no Middle East peace process currently. That is the reality.” He also said the Trump Administration was forced to “take a long hard look at the situation, to see what conditions are needed to have a meaningful process between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” one which he hoped would lead to the peaceful separation.

However, he noted that “this is probably the longest period of peace and quiet in a long time, especially considering the situation in the wider region, and there is one thing that bonds together all the parties, the Palestinians, the Israelis, the US and the Europeans, and that is not to make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict part of the wider mess in the region.”

Regarding Gaza, the UN Special Envoy said there was great concern about a deterioration in the situation and noted three key concerns: Social meltdown, conflicts within the Hamas leadership, and the emergence of even more extreme elements.

“Gaza may be the most risky situation. We are very worried it could explode at a moment’s notice,” he said.

The risk of social meltdown is primarily due to economic pressures. He criticized Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' new policy of punishing Hamas, which he noted “is effectively punishing the Palestinian people.”

In addition to internal tensions within Hamas, especially with regard to allowing Egypt to takeover Gaza's security, Mladenov warned of the strengthening of the Islamic Jihad organization.

“Almost all the rockets fired at Israel in recent months have been from Islamic Jihad,” he said, noting the terror organization's links outside the region and the threat they pose to the ability to maintain calm.

It would be a “nightmare scenario if all these fronts flare up,” he warned.

Commenting on the briefing from Mladenov, Greenberg and Hoenlein said, “Mr. Mladenov provided our delegation with a clear, accurate and incisive assessment of the current situation. The parties and the UN are fortunate to have Mr. Mladenov on the ground actively engaging with the myriad of complex issues.”