UN proposes measures for enhanced safety of Palestinians

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has proposed options and steps which could be instrumental in protection of Palestinians. In a report he suggested the deployment of both the UN-backed armed forces and unarmed personnel as observers and an increased UN civilian presence or extended assistance from UN.

The report was the culmination of request by the United Nations General Assembly after it had adopted a resolution in June which criticises Israel for use of extreme force against the civilians in Palestine. The resolution also condemned the rocket-firing from Gaza into the civilian areas of Israel although there was no mention of Hamas Group.

The resolution had sought recommendations and measures for ensuring protection and safety of Palestinians which fall under Israeli occupation. The resolution also included recommendations which include the international protection mechanism.

UN Secretary General put forth four recommendations but did not recommend any specific one. All the measures suggested by Guterres require cooperation from both sides and a continuous stop of hostilities with many more resources to ensure the viability of the options. Guterres wrote, “the combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions and a deadlocked peace process provide for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically”.

The options suggested included deploying UN peacekeepers or armed forces which come from a states with similar ideologies and which work under UN mandate. They should offer physical protection. Another option involved UN and non-UN civilians’ missions to be deployed as observers for reporting on protection and local mediation. The third choice was expansion of present UN programs including development and humanitarian aid for catering to the needs of Palestinians much more effectively thereby fostering Palestinian institutions. Final options included adding more UN human rights, coordination and political officers for better monitoring and reporting on the current situation on ground and thus increase the presence and visibility of the organisation.

The resolution which was adopted was passed with 120 votes falling in favour, 8 against and 45 absentees.


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