Efforts to Aid Gaza Recovery – 27 May 2021 Daily Press Briefing – (Excerpts)

27 MAY 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.


**Middle East

You will have heard from Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, who today briefed the Security Council on the recent hostilities between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel, adding that the cessation of hostilities is holding.

He highlighted the $95 million humanitarian flash appeal launched today, which you heard [about this morning] from [UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory] Lynn Hastings, and reiterated the Secretary-General’s appeal to the international community to work with the UN on developing an integrated, robust support package.

Mr. Wennesland told the Council that it is the lack of the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” — of a political horizon — after decades of conflict, that kills people’s hopes and provides space to those not interested in sustainable peace.  He said that only through negotiations that end the occupation and create a viable two-State solution can we hope to bring a definitive end to these senseless and costly cycles of violence.

Council members also heard from Philippe Lazzarini, the head of [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)], who recently spent a few days in Gaza, where more than 250 people were killed and thousands more injured.  He commended the work done by UNRWA staff in Gaza, who opened the schools they run there to the thousands of people who had been displaced by the escalation of violence.


Questions and Answers

I think that’s it.  It is now your turn.  Edie, go ahead.

Question:  Thank you very much, Steph.  I have two questions.  First, on the conflict in Gaza, the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said today that the Israeli actions in Gaza may constitute war crimes, and she called on Israel to allow an independent investigation.  Does the Secretary-General support those views?

Spokesman:  The Secretary-General has nothing to add to what Ms. Bachelet says, which is within her mandate.


For information media. Not an official record.

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