Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2016. (Press Service of the President of Russia/Wikimedia Commons)

UN Warns of Palestinian Economic Collapse, Renewed Violence

The United Nations has called for immediate action to stave off a potential economic collapse in the Palestinian Authority, and warned of renewed violence in the West Bank if Israel applies sovereignty to areas there in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s peace plan. The alarm bell was sounded in a report produced by the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov. It was released ahead of Tuesday’s biannual meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates the delivery of international aid to the Palestinians. “The socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on the Palestinian people is already immense,” an accompanying statement on Mladenov’s behalf said. “The Palestinian Authority needs increased financial and development assistance to address its public health needs, provide essential services and respond to the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic.” The statement further said that “any move by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank or any Palestinian withdrawal from bilateral agreements would dramatically shift local dynamics and most likely trigger conflict and instability,” including in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

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